CHICAGO -- Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins believes his team will have to overcome an emotional start by the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls in Tuesday’s Game 2 if they are to even their Eastern Conference quarterfinals playoffs series.
Tuesday will mark the first playoff game the Bulls will be without Rose, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee in Game 1. The Bulls won the game 103-91 and own a 1-0 lead in the series.
“I think it’s going to be a very emotional night,” Collins said following Tuesday’s shootaround. “Is (Rose) going to be here tonight? Is he going to talk to the media for the first time? Is he going to be out here on the bench with his teammates?
“To me, there’s going to be a lot of emotion that’s going into it. That’s why I told our guys we have to be poised to start this game. There’s going to be a flurry of activity, and you got to ride through that.”
Collins believes the rest of the game will get easier if the 76ers can hang with the Bulls through the first five minutes.
“I’ve always felt in big games -- and I used to always talk on Turner (Network Television) when I was broadcasting, any big emotional game -- usually the first five minutes of the game is emotion and everything that goes in, passion, then it settles in, and you have to execute,” Collins said. “If we can ride that first emotional wave, we hope we can settle it down and hope to do well.”
76ers point guard Jrue Holiday said Game 2 is vital to both teams before the series heads to Philadelphia.
“It’s definitely an important one because of what happened last game,” Holiday said. “It’s important for them. They probably want to prove something; obviously for us because we’re down one game.”
The 76ers also don’t want to fall to 0-2 in the series. A team hasn’t come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a series since 2008 when the San Antonio Spurs lost the first two games to the New Orleans Hornets and won the conference semifinals in seven games.
“No one wants to fall 2-0 on the series,” 76ers guard Evan Turner said. “It’s always important to get one on the opponent’s home court to make your job at home a little easier.”
Collins felt good about his team headed into the game.
“I think our guys are very focused today,” Collins said. “I think they know how important this game is if we want to win this series. We need to break through. The earlier you can break through the better. I think our guys feel good about that. We got to make shots and rebound.”