Sixers Have (Just) Enough To Win

PHILADELPHIA – More than enough to win. Until Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center, when the Chicago Bulls came up short, both in Game 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers, 79-78, and in a season that was supposed to end so differently. And so much later.

That Tom Thibodeau mantra — “We have more than enough to win” — played as background music to this 2011-12 NBA season, a slog beset by assorted injuries for his team for the first 66 games, then completely derailed by even more severe ones.

It didn’t matter to Thibs who it was — Derrick Rose, Richard Hamilton, Luol Deng, eventually Rose and Joakim Noah in the postseason. Every time anyone asked about the manpower problem, Thibodeau skipped the excuses and focused only on those available. And the message got delivered both to those wondering and to those inside his locker room. Expectations would not be tamped down just because Fred Tedeschi‘s training room was double- and triple-parked.

Problem was, Chicago didn’t have enough to win Thursday.

It didn’t have the quickness in the backcourt to cope with Sixers guards Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams. It didn’t have the depth anymore that had been its security blanket through the four grinding months of the regular season. Consider: Thibodeau used the same five guys from late in the third quarter until the bitter end (save for a 13-second cameo by Ronnie Brewer). It didn’t have more than enough offensive options, for sure, or it would have built a cushion that might have held up and forced a Game 7 back at United Center Saturday.

The Bulls didn’t have enough free throws, obviously, not when Omer Asik clanged two with 7.0 seconds left and his team hanging to a 78-77 lead. The Bulls didn’t have enough timeouts, either, because they were left barren after Andre Iguodala‘s two free throws boosted Philadelphia in front by a point with 2.2 seconds on the clock. Chicago guard C.J. Watson had to fling up a 39-footer out of desperation, and the desperation turned at the buzzer into despair, because disappointment couldn’t possibly capture the emotions of Chicago’s spoiled postseason.

For the Sixers, there was pandemonium in their arena and history on their side. They became only the fifth No. 8 seed to topple a No. 1 since the current 16-team playoff format was begun in 1984. Now they face the winners of the Boston-Atlanta series, moving into the Eastern Conference semifinals with nothing to lose. And suddenly, a more experienced, resourceful young group than the one that barely qualified two weeks ago.

36 Comments

  1. marlon green says:

    The Sixers run will come to an end in this series. Boston may be old but they still play great d and and the Celtics should rename their big 3 to the 4 horsemen or something because rondo is just as good and runs the team. The sixers dont even have a dynamic duo to match the Celtics future hall of famers. The Celtics are going to slow the game down and make Philly play halfcout ball and thats going to be a wrap. Celtics in 5.

  2. bu says:

    Thibs was right, they had enough to beat the sixers. they hv gd system in place, guys wl gd attitude & play the right way. Just that they didn’t execute the right way esp in crunch time. they’d hv creamed the sixers if they had Rose & Noah.

    I also want to see the full strengths teams square off though, this 66 game cramped & rushed season is v bad for the teams & players health, all bec the NBA wants to make money.

    If Celts are healthy enough, they should hv enough to beat the sixers wl experience & fire power & a better defense system.

  3. Wade Wilson says:

    People forget that the Sixers led the division and had a top 4 seed for most of the season until a late season 2 week slide. They are 2 of 3 vs the Celtics, including a 40 point blowout. They’re pretty healthy right now, young and athletic which is the kind of team that gives the Celtics fits. Allen is banged up as well as Pierce…and Garnett’s game has dropped dramatically this season. This short season’s rushed scheldule is killing the veteren teams in the playoffs. I pick the Sixers to take this series in 6

  4. ROSE1 says:

    76ers shouldn even call this a win. They played against Chicago with these obstacles:
    No Rose
    No Noah (or healthy)
    Deng with a bad lefty and bruised ribs
    Injured Watson (and struggling)
    76ers have now obstacles they have to face besides a bad overall team that know they ruined a what-would’ve-been a great series between injured bulls and aging celtics which they know they will be out in four.

  5. M-Eazy says:

    There R No Real NBA Fans Here Lmao!!!! Heat? Celtics? Sixers? Really all those teams r not that good Finals Champ is gonna come from the Western Conference (Spurs) Unfortunately!

  6. M-Eazy says:

    Sixers Are The Luckiest Team In The League. They Need To Write D. Rose A Thank You Letter For Getting Hurt Cuz If Not Ya would B Fishing Right Now!!!! HaHaHa

  7. Skywalker says:

    Yo that series was great basketball, it wasnt pretty but it was competition at its finest. They are two of the toughest teams in the league no question about it. I would recommend that alot of you should stop hating. So the bulls team fell apart with injuries… things happen, it wasnt their year. There is nothing more to say about it. And of course the sixers are excited they won a playoff series, they are a young team that is still learning how to consistently execute half court offense and this is the best learning experience the world has to offer. The celtics fans can talk smack all they want but the sixers play good defense and if you know basketball, or sports in general for that matter, good defense always keeps the team in games. Sixers Celtics will be another great series, more team defense and a battle whether the runs of the Seixers can keep up with consistent team offense of the Celtics.

  8. @ says:

    wow some good points on here but the fact of the matter is there is only 4 champion level teams in the nba…. the LAKERS, HEAT, SPURS and THUNDER thats it but i hope the heat dont win cuz i respect the heck out of wade but i hate LeBrick

  9. meti says:

    NEVER CHICAGO CAN WIN A GAME IN PLAYOFF WITH PLAYER LIKE CARLOS BOOZER. YOU DONT SEE HOW HE IS PLAYING?

  10. joblagz says:

    Healthy sixers vs depleted bulls?? im surprised how the 76ers cant get double digit lead.. i guess they are not that good… against the veteran celtics? i say celtics in 6..

  11. cherrypopper says:

    the bulls didn’t have enough ?!? what game were you watching ?
    CJ dribbles that ball some more and it’s game 7 – now he knows better…
    i loved the way the bulls played ! that’s my kind of basketball ;

    but this is anyway an asterisk season, so who cares if the bulls didn’t make it this year ;
    probably better if the spurs win it – they already have an asterisk title, so they already have to deal with that anyway ;-)

  12. kobe says:

    BOOZER IS A JOKE ..$80 MILLION And MAKES 1 FIELD GOAL…THE BULLS HAVE NO 2ND SCORING OPTION..EVEN WITH ROSE THEY R IN TROUBLE…ALL U BULL FANS ARE LIKE WE WILL BE OK ..ROSE WAS OUT DURING THE REGULAR SEASON AND WE WERE FINE..PLAYOFFS ARE A WHOLE DIFFERENT BALL GAME THEN PLAYING THE WIZARDS IN MARCH

  13. Lol... says:

    Sixers in 7!!!

  14. CoachJ says:

    Say what you will, cry all you want. Woulda Could shoulda never won anything. Bulls are a very good team, but they are GONE FISHING.

    Hope young guys on Sixers can keep their focus. Jrue and Evan need to score more and consistently if we are going to beat the C’s. Also thought Vucevic should have got some minutes, he is actually a pretty good defender and if he fouls out, no big deal. Oh Yeah and would someone tell Hawes that he is 7′ 1” and needs to play down low!!!

  15. james yap says:

    Nobody can beat B-Meg Llamados. The HEAT can’t match Denzel Bowles and Big Game James Yap

    • Steven says:

      Retarded comment.. May I ask you, do you know what team has been scouting bowles? And how did he even arrive in the PBA? No? I dont think so, so stfu and try to get your mind fixed

  16. M1978 says:

    The better team won this series. The Bulls were wrecked without Rose and Noah, and Chicago fell into pieces. The young players couldn’t stand the pressure and failed. Despite of this all, the Sixers are far the weakest team in the semi-finals. It would be a great suprise if they could do anything to avoid to be beaten hard by Boston.

  17. WHAT A JOKE says:

    damn the bulls got OWNED,those guys got no potential for championship even with a healthy derrick rose,The Heat are gunna continue to OWN the whole eastern conference for the next couple years

  18. Lakers_dynasty says:

    It’s a shame for Derrick…
    Though I’m a Laker’s fan, Rose is a great player that should reach at least the finals.
    Respect!

  19. I have always believed that the Bulls… are the Steers! I know they can be defeated by any Team to be seeded 8th… be it the Bucks, the Knicks…. or the now victorious Sixers.

    I know the STEERS do not have enough left for the playoff.

    Sixers…. BRAVO!

  20. MigRig says:

    Its funny listening to celtics fan talking up their team and holding to what they have for the time being cos they know the old fellas dont have much ball left in them. Hold onto it whilst you can and no you will not ‘thump the heat’, bahahaha

  21. frank says:

    Well done Sixers. Series played at his best

  22. Brian says:

    do not under-estimate the celtics. this is the same celtics team no one thought would beat down the cavs, and defending eastern conference champs, the magic. not to mention almost pulling off their second trophy with the BIG THREE, MINUS Kendrick Perkins. The Celtics will thump the Heat… the Heat are still a season or two away from a Championship Run, unless they can pull it together. No guarantees, but I like the Celtics chances! That or the Spurs or Thunder!!!

    • Kel says:

      It’s okay, it’s how the Celtics like it. They surprise everyone but themselves. I’m hoping for a Spurs-Celtics Final just to stick it to Stern and the casual NBA fanbase.

  23. smith,,,,, says:

    MIAMI HEAT TO FINALS,,, sure thing

  24. RC Querido says:

    Yeah, I’ve seen it coming when Derrick Rose went down in Game 1. The Bulls just not have someone who can replace Rose’s clutch and leadership, which they badly missed during the close games of the series. Good thing that the Sixers went to abuse that weakness of the Bulls. Congrats and goodluck to the second round. Memphis/OKC Cinderella story of the playoffs now up for grabs for the Sixers!

    RC from PHL

  25. Alonso says:

    I don’t understand what the Sixers and their fans celebrate. They could barely beat a decimated team! On the only game when Chicago had a complete team, the Sixers got raped! I am a Boston Celtics fan, and wanted to watch the Bulls (the complete team, that is) take on the Celtics on what woul dbe a great series. Now we’ll have to beat Philadelphia soon and expect to put the Miami Heat in its place on the Conference final. Watch out, Sixers and pay attention… you won’t know what hit you this time!

    • Jaden94 says:

      Alonso, Chicago earned the best record for the regular season with injured stars all year (eg. Rose, Deng, Hamilton), so of course any team and they’re fans would be celebrating if they eliminated them. And you’re dreaming if you reckon Boston could put Miami in its place – Heat’s big 3 will torch the Celtics in a 7 game series even if they get past the surging Sixers. Boston just won game 6 thanks to Horford missing a clutch free throw in the final seconds. Enjoy their series win though, they probably won’t win many more with the Celtics aging big 3 in future.

    • dattebayo says:

      Comments like this show how retarded some people are. If you can’t understand what the 76ers are celebrating for, maybe you should get of the couch and start training your butt off to challenge some people. The 76ers are a young ballclub and they were never in the second round pf the postseason (except for some individuals on that team). They accomplished something and celebrating that has nothing to do with what lies ahead but all the things that happened and lead to these moments.

      The Bulls are a hustle Team that were plagued with injuries all season, they still pulled off the best record in the league which just goes to show how much that is worth in the postseason if things go wrong. If the Bulls would have had Noah and Rose, they would have smoked the Sixers because with all the attention on Rose they get putbacks off his misses. I have heard all too often, that the Bulls best offense is at times a missed shot. But it is what it is, the Bulls were still a great Team and with that lineup, they beat half the league (including Boston) easily if not even more teams. Defeating them is a major accomplishment and my hat goes of to the 76ers…

      btw. I expect the 76ers to make it a series, I would pick the Celtics in 6 though too…

  26. gerald29 says:

    sorry bulls…i guess the heat couldt wait you in ecf showndown,,

  27. Sick says:

    Bulls are gone for fishing….

  28. mattman says:

    i had the sixers going to the 2nd round about 2 months ago, i just didnt think that they would defeat the bulls..many bright years ahead for the young bulls who can look forward to the return of a hopefully healthy, rejuvenated derrick rose as well as the return of their core role players in brewer, boozer, and noah..i said this about derrick rose: http://www.mindofmattman.com/2012/05/every-rose-has-its-thorn.html

    • Mike says:

      I believe you also said that OKC will have a very tough time with Dallas and with the Laker. FYI Laker is 50-50 chance of going fishing this Saturday.

      • Math says:

        LA’s odds of going fishing is not 50-50 in the same way that you winning the lotto is not a 50-50 odds. LA definitely has a better chance at beat the Nuggets than vice versa.