Looks like the Sixers are who we thought they were.
Not even Michael Vick could have engineered a comeback for the Sixers Tuesday night.
There have been plenty of bad losses for Doug Collins's young team this season, but none come close to the 121-76 massacre they suffered at the hands of the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday at the United Center.
While Andre Iguodala led the Sixers with 17 points, he had little help from his teammates as the Bulls pretty much did whatever they wanted to on both ends of the court.
Derrick Rose and Luol Deng each scored 22 for the Bulls, who were hitting on all cylinders Tuesday night. As a team, Chicago shot 64.5 percent from the field, scored 31 points off of turnovers and also added 28 fastbreak points for good measure.
On the flip side, the Sixers shot an embarrassingly low 35 percent from the floor, and made only two of their 15 3-point attempts. Aside from Iguodala, the rest of the team shot 20-for-66 from the field.
In his first game in Chicago as a pro, Evan Turner saw his most extensive action in quite some time. He finished the game with 6 points (on 2-for-11 shooting) and 3 assists in nearly 30 minutes of action.
Of course, he was able to get so much run because he and the rest of his teammates were figuratively run off of the court fairly early on.
It was clear that the Sixers were lacking energy shortly after the opening tip. The Bulls shot 62% from the field in the 1st quarter, en route to a 33-19 lead after 12 minutes. Despite missing Joakim Noah (who recently underwent thumb surgery), Chicago dominated on the glass in the first period, out-rebounding the Sixers 12-5.
While the second quarter played out to a relative draw, things got out of hand after intermission. The Sixers were outscored 31-11 in the third period, turning the ball over 7 times in the quarter and looking completely out of sync.
The Bulls pushed the lead to as high as 51 in the 4th quarter as both teams emptied their respective benches. Collins knew early on that his team wasn't going to mark this one down in the win column.
"I knew the first three minutes of the game - we had no juice," said Collins. "I looked at our coaches and said 'Our guys, they're just not there tonight.'"
The 121 points were the most the Sixers have allowed in a road game all year. In addition, the 45-point spread is the largest margin of victory in the NBA so far this season.
Three days after beating the Orlando Magic to kick off their road trip, it looked as if the Sixers might have a shot to catch the Bulls off-guard, especially with Chicago missing its leading rebounder in Noah. But, to put it politely, that clearly wasn't the case Tuesday night.
The good news is that the Sixers have less than 24 hours to dwell on Tuesday night's loss with another game on tap tonight. The bad news is that Wednesday's game is against the Boston Celtics, winners of 13 straight.
Including the Chicago debacle, the Sixers are 8-4 in their last 12 contests. So based on that sample size, this game seems like more of an outlier than anything else.
The true test is seeing how fast they can regain the form they've shown over the past three weeks. That test begins tomorrow in Boston.
"This is not indicative of the way we've been playing or our effort or anything like that," said Collins. "So I would expect our guys to bounce back."