While the Chicago Bulls are waiting for Derrick Rose to take his comeback attempt to another level, the Philadelphia 76ers find it hard to believe they’ve now won three games to start the season, adding a 107-104 win over the Bulls and Michael Carter-Williams surprising by many as he seems to be the best player to come out of this draft class.
Carter-Williams didn’t just score 26 points, adding 10 assists and 3 steals to lead the Sixers to their perfect start; his numbers of 20.7 points and 9 assists per game are making Philly fans remember Allen Iverson, their number one pick from 17 years ago, pulling off comparable numbers, only without the selfishness and me-against-the-world mentality that Iverson oozed off of him with every dribble he took.
Derrick Rose, on the other hand, needs more time before he feels comfortable in the league again. Playing against the 76ers should have been somewhat of a cathartic experience for Rose who was injured in the playoff game against them more than 18 months ago. However, he continues to struggle in finding easy shots and avoiding forcing shots. He shot only 4-of-14 from the field (only 28.8% from the field this season), finishing with 13 points, 6 assists and 8 turnovers. He has the confidence, but not the ability at the moment to play like the Rose of old.
But there’s more than just the rookie to the shocking start the Sixers have made this season. Spencer Hawes nailed a jumper with 5.9 seconds left to put the Sixers three points ahead, forcing Chicago to go for the game-tying three pointer, getting nothing from Luol Deng (20 points) on the clutch shot. Hawes is also enjoying an excellent start to the season, scoring 18 points (8-of-11 from the field) and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Evan Turner was spoken about as someone who might be traded at some point during the season, but the small forward is enjoying the fast paced system the Sixers are playing, maybe relieved by not having Dough Collins howling at his ear all the time. Turner scored 20 points and is averaging 23 points per game so far this season.
The Bulls are waiting for Rose. Sure, Joakim Noah can be a bit healthier, but it comes down to the same problems they had last season – a misguided offense and awful outside shooting, knocking down only 3-of-14 from beyond the arc. Carlos Boozer led the way with 22 points, but he’s usually thriving when the team plays badly. Until Rose starts finding consistency in his shot and decision making with the ball, it’s going to be a frustrating start to this season. The Sixers just hope this dream start, especially from their extremely talented rookie, isn’t going to end anytime soon. With three more home games to play in a row, there’s no reason we should see them slow down for the meantime.
We understand what everybody has said and written about us. Our guys have put in the day-to-day stuff, which has always been our message. I’m lucky I’ve found a group that enjoys each other’s company and they enjoy playing together.