The 2011-12 NBA regular season has come to a close and now most basketball fans will turn their attention towards the playoffs. The opening tip-off begins on Saturday afternoon with the top-seeded Chicago Bulls playing host to the Philadelphia 76ers in an Eastern Conference battle.
Both teams come into the first round action playing reasonably well, but the biggest question in the series is the health of Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. The Bulls won both regular season meetings in which Rose played, but the 76ers won the game he missed, making his statue important for Chicago.
These two teams play tremendous defense, so look for low scoring contests, but the difference is the experience and home-court advantage the Bulls hold.
Rose averaged 26.5 points against the 76ers this season, but his true strength is dishing the ball to team-mates as he averaged seven assists. Jrue Holiday averaged 21 points per game against Chicago, but the overall depth of Philadelphia could hurt them in this series.
Chicago won the most regular season games for the second straight NBA season and looks to have a clear advantage in this series, but their collapse last year in the playoffs have experts worried and fans of the team on edge. Look for some tight games, but ultimately the Bulls should have too much depth and take the series in six games or less.