Chicago Bulls: Should Evan Turner Be Careful What He Asks For?

Michael Gibbons@DachicagofanCorrespondent IIApril 26, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 21: Evan Turner #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers moves past Ronnie Brewer #11 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on December 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 121-76. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Evan Turner, a second-year player for the Philadelphia 76ersmade some interesting comments this week about a possible first-round playoff matchup against the Chicago Bulls.

"It means we're dodging the tougher team. That's what I think. I think we'll be able to compete well against Chicago, and have an opportunity to win the series."

With one regular season game remaining, it looks like Turner will get his wish. The 76ers are tied with the Knicks, but New York holds the tiebreaker. What that means is that Philadelphia would have to beat Detroit, and Charlotte would have to beat the Knicks in order for the 76ers to avoid the Bulls.

With Charlotte losing 22 straight games, I think it is safe to assume the Knicks will win Thursday night.

So is Turner smart to be asking for the Bulls?

The two teams faced off three times this season with the Bulls winning the season series 2-1. The one loss came at the beginning of February when the Bulls were playing without Luol Deng. It was also during a stretch where they went 3-3 over six games.

At that time, the 76ers were one of the best teams in the league, but have since fallen on hard times. With that victory, they were 16-6 and held the No. 3 seed. Since then, they have gone 19-24 and slide to the No. 8 seed.

The Bulls' two victories were close. In the most recent outing, the Bulls played without Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton in the lineup. Chicago won that game by nine.

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 19:  Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on April 19, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using t
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It's funny that it is Turner making these comments because he has not played well against his hometown team. Turner has gone 6-22 for 14 points against the Bulls this season.

After being attacked on Twitter for this statement he decided to defend himself. 


And 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

— evan turner (@thekidet) April 26, 2012


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.

— evan turner (@thekidet) April 26, 2012


Turner is right when you look at the 76ers' records against the Bulls and Heat over the last two seasons. The 76ers are winless against the Heat while they are 3-3 against the Bulls.

With that being said, it doesn't make his comments any smarter. For the second straight season, the Bulls will clinch the best record in the league with a win on Thursday. Can you really say you are dodging a bullet when you are going to play one of the best teams in the league?

These comments remind me of what Nick Anderson, another Chicagoan, said after stealing the ball from Michael Jordan at the end of Game 1 in the 1995 playoffs: "He didn't look the old Michael Jordan."

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 21: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls moves against Evan Turner #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers at the United Center on December 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 121-76. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jordan then returned to wearing his No 23 jersey and averaged 31 points per game for the series. The Bulls ended up losing the series 4-2, but swept the Orlando Magic next season in the playoffs.

I have a feeling that Turner has been added to Rose's hit list, and will very much regret this statement.

Regardless of who the Bulls' first-round opponent is, they are set to kick off the playoffs Saturday at the United Center. If the opponent is the 76ers, Turner might be wishing he was in Miami rather than sweet home Chicago after all.


Make sure to follow me on Twitter @dachicagofan, and check out my weekly Bulls podcast every Wednesday on my site, The MG Experience.