Game Preview | Team Aims to Bounce Back in Home Opener

Scene Setter:

On the heels of Tuesday’s season opener in Boston, the 76ers (0-1) will be in bounce back mode Thursday, and they’ll have the comforts of home behind them when they attempt to level their record in a nationally-televised match-up with the Chicago Bulls (0-0).

In the immediate aftermath of his team’s 105-87 loss to the Celtics, Brett Brown didn’t sound entirely surprised by some of the “disjointed” issues that surfaced.

It was, after all, the Sixers’ first game of the year. There were, despite decent looks, missed shots; a spate of turnovers, especially in the first half; new personnel combinations to test out; and communication matters to sort through on defense.

“To me, it was not an untypical type of night at the start of the season,” Brett Brown said.

The Sixers were also shorthanded Tuesday at TD Garden, which will likely be the case again Thursday at The Center. Mike Muscala has been listed as doubtful (right ankle), while Wilson Chandler (left hamstring) and Jerryd Bayless (left knee) are out.

Brown, however, is confident in the group of guys he has available.  

“We look forward trying to grow this, and get healthy.”

Opponent Outlook:

The 2017-18 campaign was a tough one for Chicago. The Bulls went 27-55, and saw a string of nine straight seasons finishing .500 or better come to an end.

As a result of its record, Chicago landed the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft, and used it on Wendell Carter Jr., the promising, multi-faceted big man from Duke. He averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game during the preseason.

During the summer, Chicago also re-upped with explosive guard Zach LaVine, and inked homegrown forward Jabari Parker to a one-year deal. Over the first four seasons of Parker’s career, all of which were spent with the Milwaukee Bucks, he missed 145 games (more than 44 percent) due to injury.

It's looking like the Bulls will be shorthanded Tuesday as well. Lauri Markkanen has already been ruled out (right elbow sprain), and Kris Dunn (personal reasons) was announced as a scratch following morning shootaround.

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Audio: 97.5 FM The Fanatic / Sixers Radio Network

Video: NBA on TNT / TNT OT app