Sixers draw Bulls in NBA playoffs

Lou Williams' scoring off the bench could be the reason the Sixers pull off a first-round upset of Chicago.

The Sixers finally did what they were supposed to do and lost. By virtue of a blowout defeat to Detroit Thursday night, the team earned a playoff date with the Chicago Bulls.

The same Chicago Bulls that Evan Turner took heat for after calling them a better matchup, and adding that the Sixers would have an “opportunity to win the series.” On Thursday, he clarified those remarks.

“What I said was looking back at the past two years matching up against teams, we had a tougher time against the Heat,” Turner said. “That’s all I said. If I had to choose, we match up better against the Bulls. Obviously, the Bulls are one of the best teams in the East and one of the best teams in the NBA.

“I’m not taking anything away from them. I would never do that. When I heard what was written, ‘What?’ I wouldn’t sit there and say anything like that. How many minutes do I play? How big a role will I have [in the playoffs]? Why would I run my mouth?”

Turner’s remarks aside, the Sixers actually do have a better shot against the Bulls, at least a better one than they would against the Heat. Either way, Sixers beat writer Adam Levitan breaks it down:

Three reasons the Sixers have hope:

1. RECENT HISTORY: The Sixers have actually fared well against the Bulls over the last two seasons, splitting six meetings. The average score in those meetings has been Bulls 95.1, Sixers 91.1.

2. BULLS INJURIES: Derrick Rose missed 27 games this season and is just getting over groin, ankle and foot woes. He’s not in the same rhythm he was last year when he won the league’s MVP. Additionally, Luol Deng has been playing through damaged wrist ligaments all season.

3. PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE: This is the Sixers’ fourth trip to the playoffs in the last five years. They’re no longer satisfied with winning a game or two.

Matchups to keep an eye on

Point guard: Jrue Holiday vs. Derrick Rose — It’s been a wildly disappointing year for Holiday, who is desperately needed to create offense in half-court sets. But in this series, his main job will be containing Rose on the defensive end. ADVANTAGE » BULLS

Shooting guard: Jodie Meeks vs. Richard Hamilton — If Meeks isn’t making his 3-pointers, he’s a liability out there. The bad news for the Sixers is that Meeks made just 26.3 percent of his treys in the first 13 games in April. ADVANTAGE » BULLS

Small forward: Andre Iguodala vs. Luol Deng — We know that Iguodala can’t carry the Sixers offensively and when he tries to, it spells trouble. Complicating matters is that Deng is one of the longest and best perimeter defenders in the league. ADVANTAGE » BULLS

Power forward: Elton Brand vs. Carlos Boozer — Two declining Duke products go head-to-head here. Boozer gets the edge thanks to his ability to knock down jumpers from beyond 10 feet. ADVANTAGE » BULLS

Center: Spencer Hawes vs. Joakim Noah — After a red-hot start, Hawes’ Achilles injury proved to be crippling. He’s been a shell of himself since returning and has little chance of matching Noah’s toughness and energy. ADVANTAGE » BULLS

Bench: The Bulls certainly have a strong bench, featuring the likes of Taj Gibson, C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer. But the Sixers’ duo of Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams can be difference-making offensively. ADVANTAGE » SIXERS

Coaching: Doug Collins vs. Tom Thibodaux — Thibs is a defensive mastermind that has his entire roster playing selfless basketball. Collins’ rugged message (and late-night texts) appeared to be wearing on the Sixers’ players down the stretch. ADVANTAGE » BULLS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…