Philadelphia 76ers guard and 2010 #2 overall pick Evan Turner is looking forward to a potential match-up against his hometown Chicago Bulls. After Turner scored a career high 29 points on the Milwaukee Bucks last night, I asked Turner about the potential first round playoff match-up with the Bulls.
“We probably match-up better with them, they’re by far the best team in the East, but our personnel, we match up better with them, so you never know,” he answered.
He also expressed similar sentiments in social media.
“We’re dodging the tougher team,” Turner Tweeted, obviously referring to the Miami Heat. “That’s what I think. I think we’ll be able to compete well against Chicago, and have an opportunity to win the series.”
Later he added:
“bulls fans: please stop tweeting me about the playoffs. I didn’t say anything negative. All I said is we match up better with them smh,” and “the heat are a tougher team for us to match up with us if you look at our record vs them the past 2 yrs.”
It looks like Turner will officially get his wish tonight. It would take a New York Knicks loss to the Charlotte Bobcats AND a 76ers win over the Detroit Pistons tonight for the Bulls to host the Knicks Saturday instead of the 76ers.
Moments after finishing four assists shy of a triple double, Turner, who grew up about minutes away from the United Center, also talked about the “homecoming” aspect of this game.
“It will be special for the people who supported me growing up, back home and everything.” Turner said.
I then asked about how he’s going to handle the inevitable deluge of ticket requests we know is coming.
“Yeah, I’m just oging to have to tell ‘em no; those tickets are going to be ridiculously expensive,” he said.
Since Turner is seeing most of his time at point guard these days, get ready to see a rekindling of the rivalry between the former Buckeyes star and Bulls superstar Derrick Rose. The acrimony goes back to Chicago preps days.
Here’s an interesting tidbit found via CBS Chicago:
Back in 2007, Rose’s Simeon team knocked off Turner’s St. Joseph’s team 74-66 and Turner had this to say to the Chicago Sun-Times:
“I was better than [Rose]. With me guarding him he didn’t do much. He knows that and I know that.”
Rose then followed up with this:
“We both know who is better. He’s just doing this to get a little bit of publicity. We’ll see who does more on the next level.”
So far, the answer to that is obvious- Rose left Memphis after one year to become the #1 overall pick in 2008, and won the NBA MVP last year. Turner stayed three years at Ohio State, sweeping all the major college basketball player of the year awards his junior season in Columbus. He struggled quite a bit his rookie season, but has made some noticeable strides this year.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.