Winners and sinners from the Sixers week, which included the last three regular-season games and Saturdays playoff opener against Chicago:
Sixer: Evan Turner. Scored a career-high 29 points Wednesday night in Milwaukee. Granted, the game did not mean as much as it might have, since the Sixers clinched a playoff berth two nights earlier, in New Jersey, and were resting Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams. But every minute is valuable for a guy like Turner, whose development continues. And a player is evaluated every time he is on the court, no matter the situation.
Shot: The wing jumper Young made with 3:26 left in the third quarter of the victory over the Nets. The Sixers had seen New Jersey cut a 15-point deficit to one, and Young had not scored to that point in the game. But he caught fire after that, finishing 7-for-8 from the field for 15 points, and the Sixers won easily.
Quote: Turner, on a new book by former Ohio State teammate Mark Titus, which often portrays Turner in an unfavorable light: One thing about that book he forgot the part where I skin puppies for Cruella de Vil.
Turner again, to the Delaware County Times about facing Chicago in the playoffs, as opposed to Miami: It means were dodging the tougher team. Thats what I think. I think well be able to compete well against Chicago, and have an opportunity to win the series.
Miscalculation: Turner (see above), who is correct, but only to a degree. The Sixers match up better with the Bulls than they do the Heat, but they dont really match up well. The Sixers are deep, but the Bulls are deeper. The Sixers defend, but the Bulls defend better. And while Chicago will unquestionably miss Derrick Rose lost to a knee injury in Saturdays opener the Bulls were 18-9 without him during the regular season. They still have more than enough to win this series.
Shortcoming: Rebounding. The Sixers broke even on the boards in the regular season, while the Bulls owned a rebounding margin of nearly seven a game, best in the league. The gap in Game One was 47-38, Chicago.
Disappearing act: Center Spencer Hawes. Dropped from the starting lineup late in the regular season, he played just over 15 minutes in Game One, and contributed five points and four rebounds. He has not played consistently well since returning from his Achilles strain, and he is an unrestricted free agent at seasons end. It will be interesting to see what the front office decides to do with him.
Gordie Jones is an award-winning journalist who has worked in the Philadelphia market for 28 years. He also co-authored a book about the 76ers' 1982-83 championship team with former Sixers general manager Pat Williams.