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The Sixers go up 3-1 on the Bulls, but are you surprised?


The Sixers  have a three games to one lead on the top-seed Chicago Bulls in the NBA Playoffs.
I’ll say it again in case you didn’t soak it in the first time: The Sixers have a three games to one lead on the number one seeded Chicago Bulls in the NBA Playoffs. Andre Iguodala photo: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
I would say stranger things have happened, but in Philadelphia, that saying usually goes against us.

Make no mistake, Game 4 in the best of seven series was a game that saw the Sixers come out on the prettier side of ugly. Jrue Holiday started out the game going 1 for 13 from the field. Combine this with the shooting of Evan Turner and Lou Williams and you have a combined 12 for 45 from the floor for the entire game. However, Holiday’s consecutive three pointers put the Sixers up by seven and they never relinquished the lead. You also have to commend Holiday and Turner for their defensive play despite inconsistent shooting.

And yes, I would be remiss if I didn’t give Andre Iguodala some props as well. One of the worst fourth quarter shooters in the NBA, Iguodala made what was a four point Sixers lead into a six point lead with the game on the line. And yes, the man is playing with a strained achilles. That has to count for something.

The Sixers were 22 for 31 from the free throw line and capitalized on 20 second chance points in the game. Spencer Hawes became the first Sixers center since Moses Malone to have back to back 20 point games in the post-season. Hawes had 22 points and eight rebounds and shot 9-11 from the field. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Sixers are going to handle contract talks with the soon-to-be free agent (and injury prone) Hawes after the season ends.

Let’s not kid ourselves here: chances are the Sixers would be down three games to one as opposed to their current status if Derrick Rose (and to a lesser degree Joakim Noah) were healthy, but for once, a Philly team finally benefits from another team’s injuries. As we all know in this town, sports is never fair. There is still an abundance of work to be done with this Sixers team when the season ends, but we should truly enjoy this ride as long as it lasts. As for the Bulls, they have six titles. They'll get over it.

On Tuesday night, the Sixers could become just the fifth eighth seed to knock off the top seed since the 16 playoff team format was initiated in 1984.

Stay tuned.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Hawes photo: Howard Smith/US Presswire

Iguodala photo: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh