The Chicago Bulls may be without Derrick Rose for the rest of the playoffs, but the Philadelphia 76ers still have their work cut out for them.
Down 1-0 in their first-round series against the Bulls, the 76ers face a team that with or without Rose during the season managed to hold their own. With Rose, Chicago was 32-7; without him, 18-9. That success can perhaps heavily be attributed to rebounding and defense, two categories the Bulls ranked first in throughout the year.
Without Derrick Rose, it is a different team, said 76ers guard Jrue Holiday. They don't really have that scoring and passing that Derrick Rose brings. At the same time, they've had an awesome record without him.
Rose tore his left ACL in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game, a 103-91 Bulls win, with just over a minute to go and Chicago up by 12. Now, he faces surgery, then recovery that can possibly lag into next season.
Tuesday, guards C.J. Watson and John Lucas III will have to pick up where the reigning NBA MVP left off and help lift the Bulls past the 76ers first en route to a title.
I don't think a lot of people expected us to win a championship to begin with, said guard Kyle Korver. But even now, it's probably moreso that way. We're definitely confident in ourselves.
76ers coach Doug Collins will try to dispel that confidence by trying to win his first road playoff game as team head coach, but will probably need some more offensive production out of a young bunch. While the 76ers were third in the league in points allowed (89.4) this season, they were only 22nd in points per game (93.6).
Forward Evan Turner will likely make his first playoff start, according to reports. He had a decent 12 points and five assists in Game 1, but as the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, more might be expected of him.
Philadelphia's bench can be an offensive spark, too. It averaged 40.8 points per game, third in the league this season, as opposed to the Bulls bench, which averaged 29.6.
Game 2 between the 76ers and Bulls will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET at the United Center on TNT. A live stream can be watched here.
PREDICTION: The Bulls have proven they can win without Rose. They are bigger and deeper on both ends of the floor. The 76ers, while great defensively, struggle to score with no clear-cut go-to guy. The Bulls will take Game 2, 89-78.