Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sixers staying course in facing Bulls without Derrick Rose

Doug Collins and his players all said after today's practice that taking the Chicago Bulls any lighter now that reigning MVP Derrick Rose will be sidelined is ludicrous.

Sixers staying course in facing Bulls without Derrick Rose


The question was posed to Sixers coach Doug Collins from a person with a TNT microphone, the station that used to employ Collins. But the coach didn't hide his disdain for the question.

The questioner asked Collins if he had to address his team about their mindsets now that Rose is sidelined with a torn ACL. After a long pause and icy stare, Collins said: "You're kidding, right? You're kidding, right? Are we favored to win this series now?"

No doubt schematically things will change for the Sixers. In Rose's place will be C.J. Watson, who started 25 games for the Bulls this season as Rose missed time with a plethora of injuries.

"Derrick Rose so distorts your defense so everything you do is tilting to him and it frees up a lot of opportunities for a lot of other guys," said Collins. "With that said, C.J. Watson played very well against us and so did (John) Lucas."

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The Sixers played in Chicago on March 17th while Rose was sidelined with a groin injury. The Bulls won that game by 89-80 and Watson scored a team-high 20 points.

"We have to play him a little different from Derrick but not too much different because he is a scorer, too," said Sixers guard Jrue Holiday. "He might not score as much and he might not pass as well and he might not be as much of a playmaker (as Rose) but at the same time they have a good record with C.J. Watson starting at the point.

"C.J. is more of a shooter. He can attack the basket, but there is no comparison to the way Derrick Rose takes it to the basket. We have to kind of run him off that three point line and try to make him make plays in a crowd."

Asked if Watson was his assignment to guard, Holiday said, "No, that's Evan. I'm on Rip (Hamilton) tomorrow."

That little sentence was telling. Earlier when asked who would be starting tomorrow, Collins laughed, telling reporters that he wasn't going to answer that, which was his same response on Sunday. With Jodie Meeks so ineffective in Game One and a good performace by Evan Turner, the assumption is that Turner will get the starting nod. Holiday's comment seemed to cement that.

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About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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