Keys To The Game: Bulls at Sixers (3.7.22)

The Bulls look to bounce back in a big way as they take on the new-look Philadelphia 76ers.

Chicago is 0-3 against the Sixers this season, so Billy Donovan's squad will surely be hungry for a win as this represents their last opportunity to give Joel Embiid his first career loss against the Bulls.

Defend James Harden without fouling

We chose James Harden rather than Joel Embiid simply for the fact that it is a bit more plausible to keep Harden off the charity stripe.

Harden loves to get to his stepback 3-point shot and he sets that move up with his repeated and tough drives to the basket. He is often looking to initiate contact, so Ayo Dosunmu and Co. have to be very cautious about when they go for steals on Harden.

When guarding a perimeter player who hunts for fouls like Harden, it would behoove the Bulls to defense to make sure their hands are clearly visible to referees and that they are in proper help defense position on the weakside.

Attack the basket early and often

The Bulls shot a combined 18 free throws their last two games, both losses. For a team like Chicago, that is currently making up for their defensive shortcomings with great execution on offense, that low number is not great.

Free throws are, of course, subjective, but it is on the Bulls players to drive to the basket more and invite the type of contact that gets you to the free throw line.

Against a team like Philadelphia that will get to the free throw line often, the Bulls will simply need to show more aggression and physicality on offense to keep up.

Don't lose track of Tyrese Maxey

Since the Sixers acquired James Harden, second year player Tyrese Maxey has been on an incredible run. Maxey has been putting up well over 26 points per game while knocking down over 60% of his shots from 3-point range with the new-look Sixers.

The offensive gravity of Harden and Embiid often leaves the very talented Maxey feasting on wide-open shots and driving to the rim on off balance, closing out defenders.

If the Bulls want to take down the red-hot Sixers on Monday night, they will need to make sure they don't treat Maxey like a run-of-the-mill shooter. He will need as much attention as Harden and Embiid when you consider his importance to the low-on-depth Sixers.