The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls 89-82 in Game 4 on Sunday, and now a Bulls team that entered the postseason among the favorites in the Eastern Conference is fighting to survive.
Over at Blog a Bull, the mood is understandably somber in the wake of Sunday's final. There were some concerns over officiating, but they also conclude that whatever mistakes the officials made probably didn't impact the results.
I rarely ever bring officiating up, but it was noticeably poor tonight. A couple late calls back-to-back showed a failure to give the Bulls defense as much of a leeway on contact as they did for Philly. And then when the Bulls were playing clock management down late, the refs missed CJ Watson trying to give a foul (to be fair, he could've tried harder) and then an extremely touchy call on Asik as the shot clock expired.
But it likely wouldn't have mattered anyway. Without Rose and now Joakim Noah (and half of Deng), the Bulls do not have more than enough to win.
At Liberty Ballers, they're talking about Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, who weren't very good in Game 4 after outstanding performances in games two and three. Those struggles don't figure to continue, though:
Should we be worried about this performance? Not really, because although the two of them made their share of mistakes, both attacked the basket, got to the foul line, and were integral to the win even without their best offensive games. The pair missed so many layups that it seemed like they had switched sneakers with Spencer Hawes, who happened to be a layup-hitting FIEND. They combined to shoot 4-14 on layups. That's a decent percentage if they're shooting layups from the opposite rim. It's an anomaly and likely won't happen often.
Game 5 of the Sixers-Bulls series is scheduled for Tuesday night in Chicago.
For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Bulls, head over to Blog a Bull. Additional 76ers analysis can be found at Liberty Ballers. For more news, notes and analysis from around the NBA, visit SB Nation's NBA news hub.