Philadelphia guard Evan Turner is the rare player who answered the question, “Which team would you rather play in the next round of the playoffs?”
Turner, a Chicago native, made the Bulls his preference when asked by the Delaware County (Pa.) Times last weekend.
“I think we'll be able to compete well against Chicago and have an opportunity to win the series,” he said. “It means we're dodging the tougher team. That's what I think.”
The alternative is No. 2 seed Miami, and the Sixers are 1-11 the last two years against the Heat, so it’s tough to argue with Turner’s opinion. Before playing Milwaukee on Wednesday, 76ers coach Doug Collins said his team was already planning to fly from Detroit to Chicago late Thursday night, in preparation for Game 1 at the United Center on Saturday.
Alas, nothing was settled Wednesday. Philadelphia beat the Bucks, who rested most of their starters. New York beat the Clippers, so the Knicks and Sixers remain tied for 7th place in the East.
New York holds the tiebreaker, so a Philadelphia loss at Detroit on Thursday would guarantee a Bulls-Sixers matchup. The Knicks play at Charlotte (7-58), which is trying to avoid a 23-game losing streak and the worst winning percentage in NBA history.
The best overall record is also undecided. San Antonio rested Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili on Wednesday, but still beat Phoenix. The Bulls beat the Spurs head-to-head, so they can clinch homecourt throughout the playoffs by beating Cleveland in the regular-season finale.