While many have struggled to explain why Philadelphia has gone to the foul line so often in this series, coach Doug Collins explained Monday that it was all part of the plan when he changed the starting lineup.
"We're a different team," Collins told reporters in Philadelphia. "(Shooting guard) Jodie Meeks was a starter and Jodie Meeks would stand out behind the 3-point line and give us spacing. Now all of the sudden we've got three guys out there that are all driving and when you put Lou (Williams) out there, four."
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Starting with Game 2 against the Bulls, the Sixers benched Meeks in favor of second-year guard Evan Turner. Meeks has played very little in the entire series, so Williams, Turner, Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala are the four attacking guards.
"Like I said going in, when you take Jodie out, you lose 3-point shooting and you have to make it up at the free-throw line," Collins said. "So that's what we have to do, we have to manufacture points. We have to drive the ball in there and be strong with the ball and our guys have been doing that.
"They're creating contact. I told them, in playoff basketball, there aren't going to be any touch fouls."
History with Hamilton:
Richard Hamilton has been in this exact spot before, playing for a No. 1 seed that fell behind 3-1 in the first round. It happened in 2003 when his Detroit Pistons fell behind Orlando and rallied to win the series.
"We felt as though we had to leave everything on the line," Hamilton said at the Berto Center. "When we played Orlando, I remember Tracy (McGrady) made a comment saying that it feels good to be going to the second round. We kind of took that personal.
"So right now, it's personal. It's not just about business, not just about showing up and playing a game of basketball. It's personal. This is it. You can win and continue playing or you can go home. So you've got to make it personal."
No words necessary:
Taj Gibson was asked Monday if the Bulls have talked among themselves about how their backs are against the wall in this playoff series.
"We don't really have to say it," he said. "We already know in our minds. We look at it as we have to win. We just look at it as one play at a time, just go out there and lay it on the line.
"There's a lot of pride. We look at it as we put in the work. Every guy, from 1 to 13, put in the work. Every guy has done something to help this team succeed. Everybody has their head up. Everybody's still optimistic, not worrying about losing or anything like that. We're just worried about getting to the next game and play hard."
Rip sits in fourth:
One of the reasons the Bulls acquired Richard Hamilton before the season was his extensive playoff resume while playing for the Pistons.
In Friday's Game 3, he scored 17 points and shot 12 free throws.
In Game 4, he went to the foul line just once and that was after a technical foul for illegal defense. He finished with 7 points and played very little in the fourth quarter, but wasn't in a mood to complain Monday.
"You do (want to be out there), but it is what it is," he said. "Like I said when I came here, 'Whatever they need me to do, I'm going to do.' My job is, if I'm not on the court in the fourth quarter, to cheer for the next guy, because I know they'd do the same thing for me."
Quote of the day:
"Yes, I do believe the Chicago Bulls are finished. It's painful. I was with this team from Day One. I thought it was the only team in the league that could beat the Miami Heat. But it's not going to happen now. They just don't have enough pieces. They can't score the basketball. Great effort this season with all the injuries, but their ride is coming to an end."
-- Jon Barry, ESPN analyst
Injured guard Derrick Rose stopped by the Berto Center on Monday to visit his teammates.
... Sixers coach Doug Collins on the Bulls' strategy shift in Game 4: "They went to a pick-and-roll game, power game and they went away from the chase game with Rip (Hamilton) and (Kyle) Korver that they had done a lot before that."