It’s fairly obvious to anyone who has paid even a bit of attention to the Sixers this year that they match up better with the Bulls than they do the Heat. On Sunday, Turner felt the need to point it out, telling the Delco Times:
“[Playing the Bulls would mean] 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.”
Doh. He must have missed out on that PR session as a rookie… you know, the one that instructs players to say the bare minimum to the media, especially when it comes to talking about opponents (the Sixers will play the Bulls in the playoffs if they lose or the Knicks win tonight).
The – conference-leading – Bulls shrugged off the comments when asked about them last night: [ESPN.com]
“Well, alright. I'm not going to get into a war of words with Evan Turner. All right, come play us.”
“There's been teams that said they want to play us before. So I don't got nothing to say about it.”
Was that a reference to Lou Williams' rap lyric from Korver? Anyway, moving on.
Turner backed off his comments, a bit, today. Here’s what he told ESPNChicago.com:
“What I said was looking back at the past two years matching up against teams, we had a tougher time against the Heat," Turner said. "That's all I said. If I had to choose, we match up better against the Bulls.”
“Obviously, they should be (upset). I would be mad, too. 'Who does Evan Turner thinks he is?”
"I have enough problems as it is," Turner said. "I dealt with it a little bit in high school, dealing with the media when it was twisting my words.
"I wouldn't sit there and say that. An article saying we were dodging a tougher team? That's ridiculous. You don't do that. You don't disrespect or trash talk before the game. That's not how you do it."
As Spike Eskin of CBS Philly pointed out, this wasn’t the first time Turner talked in the direction of Rose.
In 2007, following a Chicagoland high school game in which Rose’s team beat Turner’s, ET said that he was better than his counterpart. Rose wasn't so sure. “We’ll see who does more on the next level," he said.
Advantage: Rose, by a wide margin.