Evan Turner is taking well to his role as Philly’s wild card. The once lost young gun in the Sixers’ organization turned inconsistent fantasy stud has made a bit of a ripple between he and a Chicago Bulls team he and Philly will likely be facing in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs.
The Knicks are facing the Charlotte Bobcats, a meeting in which Carmelo Anthony doesn’t expect to play, and the gist of the locker room is that no one really cares whether they face Miami or Chicago. Philly could very well jump to the No. 7 seed in the playoffs and play the Miami Heat, which is something Turner would rather not do.
The second-year swingman made that clear while discussing the potential first-round series between the Sixers and Bulls. When asked what it would mean to face the Bulls, the Chicago native told the Delaware County Times, "It means we're dodging the tougher team. That's what I think."
"I think we'll be able to compete well against Chicago," Turner told the Times, "and have an opportunity to win the series."
Turner may have wanted to bite his tongue as neither of these matches is set in stone. The Knicks could very well go on to meet up with the Miami Heat in the first round and the Sixers could face off with the Chicago Bulls, a team that Turner is obviously confident against.
However, there are still two games that stand in the way of both of these teams and set NBA playoff matchups.
Before Turner writes off his confidence against the Miami Heat, a team that has already dominated him and Philly in last year’s first round, he may want to consider the fact that he just may have to muster up some form of self-assurance in the next several days to face this very squad.
Of course, the Chicago Bulls could care less.
They have handled the likes of the Miami Heat without their star, former MVP Derrick Rose, and only seem to be more controlled than they were last season. Turner’s efforts this season barely merit a mention, much less a boisterous call-out to one of the most dominant franchises in the league.
The Bulls are not at their best without Rose, but they are undoubtedly more kempt and dependent than the Sixers at their greatest. It’s good that Evan Turner has found his voice with the Philly franchise.
Still, underrating a tough Bulls team and suspending the thought that he could push past the Heat may not have been the best move.