Although the Bulls dominated the majority of the Game 1 matchup, the victory may have come at too steep a price. Coach Tom Thibodeau’s controversial decision to leave his starters in the game with one minute left with his team up 12 proved costly as superstar point guard Derrick Rose’s season-ending ACL tear may jeopardize the high expectations Chicago had coming into the playoffs. Philadelphia guard Evan Turner infamously tweeted last week that “the heat are a tougher team for us to match up against,” which has elicited much criticism over the past week. There may be some truth to that statement, however. The 76ers have matched up very well with Chicago over the past two seasons, even with Derrick Rose in the lineup. The two teams have great benches, with the 76ers’ second unit scoring 40.8 PPG (fourth in the NBA) and the Bulls featuring Kyle Korver, Omer Asik, Taj Gibson and C.J. Watson. Chicago and Philadelphia also pride themselves on playing stellar defense and are first and third, respectively, in the NBA this season in points allowed. This series already had upset potential, but the Sixers were never fully expected to win more than one or two games. Without Derrick Rose, Chicago is still incredibly formidable, but I think Philadelphia may be able to steal a game or two in Chicago, and pull off the upset.
After six months and 162 games, the teams playing in the MLB postseason has finally been decided. The field seemed to be all be set at the beginning of September, with all six division leaders and both Wild Card teams holding comfortable leads. The Red Sox, for example, had a 9-1/2 game lead at one point, and our “Your New Home Team” article published Sept. 9 declared that it would take a historic collapse for the team to miss out on the playoffs.