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Lavoy Allen to start at center for Sixers in playoff opener

Temple product Lavoy Allen will get the starting nod Saturday when the Sixers play the Chicago Bulls in the playoff opener.

Sixers coach Doug Collins has stated endlessly that in order for his team to have any chance of upsetting the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, his big men will have to rebound.

Because of that, Collins has decided to start Temple product Lavoy Allen on Saturday when the team's open the series at the United Center in Chicago.

"That's what I'm looking at, putting Lavoy out there," said Collins after the team's practice Friday at the United Center. "We need some strength against (Carolos) Boozer and we'll let (Elton Brand) play against (Joakim) Noah. And then we'll have Spencer (Hawes) and Thad (Young) come in.

"A big part of that Bulls team, which sometimes gets overlooked is how good their big guys are. They have four big guys who are very, very active."

Collins hasn't been pleased with the play of fellow rookie center Nik Vucevic of late and has been piling up the minutes on Allen. He likes the way Hawes, who started most of the season, plays with sub Young down low so Collins didn't want to disrupt that. Thus, Allen will be the starter.

Game Two will be Tuesday night in Chicago at 8 p.m. Eastern.