For 76ers, glass can’t be dismissed
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media April 30, 2012 10:22PM
Philadelphia’s Evan Turner says Joakim Noah is a force on the offensive boards. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: June 2, 2012 8:16AM
Entering their playoff series against the Bulls, the 76ers’ coaching staff gave its players one directive above all, and it had nothing to do with Derrick Rose.
Philadelphia’s primary concern was and remains rebounding, so the 76ers focused their attention on the Bulls’ big men. Rose’s injury obviously changes the Bulls’ game, but the 76ers’ game plan remains the same.
‘‘The key is still going to be rebounding,” 76ers coach Doug Collins said. “They’re 18-9 without Rose, so they won 67 percent of their games without him.
“They’ve beaten a lot of good teams [without Rose]. [Game 2] is going to be a very emotional game for them. They’re going to come out, I’m sure, trying to hit us hard early, and I said the first five minutes will be emotion, and the next 43 will be execution.”
Rose’s ability to break down defenses made it easier to get second-chance points and offensive rebounds. But 76ers swingman Evan Turner thinks center Joakim Noah is the focal point.
“I never really thought about [Rose’s role in rebounding], to tell you the truth,” Turner said. “I just know Noah tries to get every offensive rebound possible. So that’s all you really think about. Rebounding is about how bad you want the ball, and Noah definitely has a desire to do his job and get extra possessions.”