The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to even their series with the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, May 1. Even though the 76ers were routed in Game 1, the series has tilted slightly in their favor. The Bulls have lost star guard Derrick Rose for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Doug Collins is shaking things up by inserting Evan Turner into the starting lineup. With a little bit of positive energy, the 76ers might have a chance to steal a huge win in Chicago. Here are three things that have to happen in order for the 76ers to get the win they need.
Evan Turner needs to come up big
Turner made headlines by saying that he was happier to face the Bulls instead of the Miami Heat. Now that he is in the starting lineup, all eyes will be on him. Turner had a solid performance in the series opener. However, he needs to take things to a new level now that he is a starter. The 76ers drafted him second overall in 2010 because they believed he can be a star player and a team leader. This is the biggest game of his career to date. He needs to score, grab rebounds, and play defense. Anything less will be a major disappointment.
The big guys need to play well
Elton Brand was the star of the first game for the 76ers. He shot the ball well and added seven rebounds. The 76ers need Brand to be a double-double guy if they want a real chance of winning. Chicago has some tough players underneath in Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, and that means that Brand needs to make his presence felt. Philadelphia also needs solid efforts from Spencer Hawes and Nikola Vucevic. LaVoy Allen is likely to star at center, giving the 76ers another strong body to protect the basket. If these four guys maximize their abilities, good things will happen.
Maintain energy for 48 minutes
Let's face it. The 76ers have a knack to either start strong and fade down the stretch or start slow and rally late. That isn't a formula for success in the playoffs. Collins needs to find a way to get these guys to play hard for an entire game. If Philadelphia allows the Bulls to build another big lead early, they won't have any chance of winning. They need to come out strong and keep the aggressive style going for the entire game. The only way this team is going to win this series is if they play with a sense of desperation the entire way.
* - Mark Paul is a Philadelphia resident and lifelong 76ers fan.
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