Evan Turner likes Bulls matchup

Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner said Thursday he meant no disrespect to the Chicago Bulls when he said his team would match up better with the Bulls than the Miami Heat in the playoffs.

"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, the Bulls are one of the best teams in the East and one of the best teams in the NBA. I'm not taking anything away from them. I would never do that. When I heard what was written, 'What?' I wouldn't sit there and say anything like that. How many minutes do I play? How big a role will I have [in the playoffs]? Why would I run my mouth?"

The Sixers will open against the Bulls on Saturday if they lose against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday or the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Bobcats. If Philadelphia wins and the Knicks lose, the Sixers open against the Heat.

The Bulls, who clinched the best record in the East for the second consecutive season and entered action Thursday tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA at 49-16, were 2-1 against Philadelphia this season while the Heat were 4-0 against the Sixers.

Turner, who is from Chicago, was asked what it would mean to face the Bulls in the playoffs, and he was quoted by The Delaware County Daily Times as saying, "It means 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," Turner added.

Turner said by phone Thursday his full point was not included in the article. An attempt to reach the Delaware County Daily Times reporter was initially unsuccessful.

Turner also said he understood the reaction on Twitter from Bulls fans.

"Absolutely, they play the whole year as the No. 1 team, they beat Miami a couple times, they're without Derrick [Rose], without their best player for a while," Turner said. "Obviously, they should be [upset]. I would be mad, too. 'Who does Evan Turner thinks he is?' I understand. They could have easily said negative stuff and been unprofessional."

He tweeted a response to Bulls fans: "And bulls fans: please stop tweeting me about the playoffs. I didn't say anything negative. All I said is we match up better with them smh"

Bulls players were asked about it after their win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

"Well, all right," Bulls guard Kyle Korver said. "I'm not going to get into a war of words with Evan Turner. All right, come play us."

Joakim Noah just smiled and took the comments in stride.

"That's cool," Noah said.

Turner also said the last thing he wanted to deal with was another controversy in his hometown. He went through a similar media situation in high school after Turner was quoted as saying he had outplayed Rose when Rose's Simeon team defeated Turner's St. Joseph team.

"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 far as Rose, he took the words in stride.

"There's been teams that said they want to play us before," Rose said. "So I don't got nothing to say about it."