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updated: 5/1/2012 11:12 PM

Bulls didn't exactly walk the walk

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  • Joakim Noah drives Tuesday during Game 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers in Chicago. The 76ers won 109-92 to even the series at a game apiece.

      Joakim Noah drives Tuesday during Game 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers in Chicago. The 76ers won 109-92 to even the series at a game apiece.
    Associated Press

 
 

How's the Bulls' rallying cry of "we have more than enough to win" working for you today?

Yeah, I know, as badly as it did for them Tuesday night.

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The Bulls had way, way, way less than enough as Derrick Rose watched from a suite on an injured knee.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia had way, way, way too much for the Bulls on the way to a 109-92 victory in the United Center.

Once the 76ers settled in after halftime, they looked more motivated by Rose's absence than the Bulls were inspired.

"No," Bulls' head coach Tom Thibodeau said firmly when asked whether the Bulls were psychologically affected by Rose's absence.

Regardless, Philly can't be all that proud of tying this NBA Eastern Conference first-round playoff series 1-1, can they be?

Not with Rose making only a brief appearance on the court to deliver the game ball before limping up to a seat in a suite.

That left the Bulls looking like "Seinfeld" without Seinfeld during sweeps month, like the Rolling Stones in concert without Jagger, like a "Gone with the Wind" marathon without Gable.

Since Rose tore an ACL in Game 1 on Saturday, the Bulls talked a much better game than they played.

When the Sixers finally arrived in the second half, they made the Bulls look like they could use the crutches that Rose will be clutching all summer.

Without Rose blurring down the court, the athletic 76ers made the Bulls look like they were standing still. In the third quarter, Philadelphia turned a 55-47 deficit into an 83-69 lead. For anybody caring or counting, that was a 36-14 drubbing.

"The third quarter was the game," Thibodeau understated.

If the Bulls were dominated like that in any quarter with Rose on the floor the past two seasons, the memory of it has been erased.

Not even Joakim Noah's 21 points and constant hustle could keep the Sixers from taking homecourt advantage away from the Bulls in the best-of-seven series.

"We have to come back with a lot more fight," Thibodeau said. "We have to come back stronger. It starts with me. I have to get us ready better."

As Rose watched from upstairs, the Bulls had nobody downstairs to prevent Sixers' point guard Jrue Holiday from celebrating a 26-point holiday.

Evan Turner -- a Westchester St. Joseph's product who UC fans booed every time he touched the ball -- touched up the Bulls for 19 points.

The only things that can save the Bulls in this series are defense and rebounding, but they were dominated in both phases during the second half.

Holiday, Turner, fast breaks, rebounds ... they conspired to turn the Bulls from favorites to underdogs and the Sixers from underdogs to favorites.

To be honest, when the Bulls don't have Rose these essentially are two ordinary teams trying to survive rather than thrive.

"I told our guys we have a great opportunity," Philly coach Doug Collins said. "We have to take advantage of this."

Now the Bulls have until Friday to regroup for Game 3 at Philadelphia.

Apple is doing all right without Steve Jobs. "Two and a Half Men" still is a ratings winner without Charlie Sheen. The Cardinals lead the NL Central without Albert Pujols.

Those are the examples the Bulls have to grasp at if they want to continue thinking they have more than enough to win this series.

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