CHICAGO - The 76ers got two points from their starting shooting guard in Saturday's 103-91 loss to the Chicago Bulls in Game 1.
After a dismal 7 minutes and 29 seconds of play in the first quarter that included a miss on a wide-open jump shot, a bad turnover and an even-worse foul of a jump shooter, coach Doug Collins pulled Jodie Meeks and kept him on the bench for most of the remainder of the game.
Evan Turner took most of the minutes and coach Doug Collins said after the game that his team needs the type of playmaking ability that Turner possesses. He finished with 12 points, five assists and three steals in almost 30 minutes.
After the team's short practice Sunday at the United Center, Collins was asked if Turner would replace Meeks in the starting lineup.
"I have to think about it," Collins said. "I'm not going to show my hand right now. I have 2 days to prepare so I'll see about that."
Translation: Goodbye Meeks, hello Turner.
Collins reiterated that even though the Bulls will be without star Derrick Rose for the rest of the series, the key for the Sixers is rebounding. That is an area where Turner can be a big contributor.
While the Sixers got limited production from their two-guard spot, the Bulls got a combined 30 points from starter Rip Hamilton (19) and sub Kyle Korver.
"There are three or four things that they did that really hurt us so we're going to focus in on those things," Collins said about the Bulls' offense. "We'll see what 'Thibs' [coach Tom Thibodeau] is going to want to do with the change [without Rose]. Is it going to be more [Carlos] Boozer postups? Is it going to be more Luol Deng? They probably ran their one set with Rip and Kyle Korver more than we've seen it. And why not? It was working. We have to be prepared to do a better job with that.
"But if we don't rebound we can't win. We gave them 20 second-chance points. We talked to our bigs and our wings about rebounding the ball. One of the problems that we have is when we put [Andre Iguodala] on Rip or Korver, he's one of our better rebounders and he's away from the basket. Same thing about Evan."
After Saturday's loss, starting center Lavoy Allen sat at his locker with a huge wrap around his right thumb. At some point in the game - no one seems to be sure when - Allen sprained the thumb. X-rays taken after the game were negative and he appears to be fine to play Tuesday. He practiced Sunday with no wrapping on the thumb.
Pick and That
The Bulls are a very physical team when it comes to setting picks on offense. Many times in Game 1, Collins and his team were looking for fouls because of what they thought were moving picks.
While chasing Luol Deng and Rip Hamilton for most of the game, Sixers forward Andre Iguodala was getting banged by many of those screens. He sees them as questionably legal, but knows there's nothing that can be done but fight through.
"They're really good at setting picks and I think when you have that perception of being a team that sets really good picks you get some leeway with setting picks," he said. "But they've earned that and we have to continue to fight through it. When we played Detroit [in playoffs past] Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace were great at setting picks, too."