Preps Talk

Turner blanketing Bulls' point guards


Turner blanketing Bulls' point guards

PHILADELPHIA -- Its been obvious that since Derrick Rose went down in Game 1 of the Bulls-76ers first-round playoff series, the Bulls have struggled to get production out of the point-guard position. A casual observer might think that C.J. Watson and John Lucas III just dont measure up, but given that they combined to lead the Bulls to an 18-9 record during the regular season without Rose, that doesnt seem to be the case.

Instead, its been the defense of Evan Turner that has been a major deterrent to the two Bulls floor generals, as the 6-foot-7 swingman has smothered the two point guards with his length. While the Chicago native, a villain in his hometown after his comments prior to the series, has been up and down on the offensive end of the court, his defensive acumen has prevented the scoring-minded duo from making a major dent offensively, as well as hampering the Bulls overall offensive timing.

Sometimes I guard a point guard. I guard Rondo from the Celtics. Its not the first time Ive done it or anything like that. Ive done it a few times in college, so Im acclimated to it and Im probably better on the ball, Turner recently told Every team has their advantages and disadvantages, and its up to the coaches to use to make sure they use their advantages as best as they can, and make sure they hide their disadvantages. Some games, you do a great job at it. Some games, you cant. Thats just how basketball is.

I think basketballs all about positioning and how fast you get to the spot, and execution, so defense is all about position and offense is all about execution and setting things up. Sometimes, its not always about athleticism, he continued to explain. Ive been able to get a little bit more opportunity to gain experience in certain key moments of the season and its helped a lot. Each game is extremely important to me, to my development, and I think Ive grown a lot and matured a lot.

The former No. 2 overall draft pick also discussed the fact that he believes his comments about how the Sixers were lucky to draw the Bulls in the first round instead of the Heat, which dispatched Philadelphia in last years postseason, were misconstrued.

I didnt care about any of that, to tell you the truth. What they were mad at me about was sensationalized by the media and thats the playoffs, he said. Its going to happen and Id much rather it happen to me than anybody else. I wasnt playing versus the fans. I was playing versus the Bulls, so that was it.

The NBCSPreps Top 50 Boys Basketball Players to Watch

The NBCSPreps Top 50 Boys Basketball Players to Watch

With the IHSA boys basketball season rapidly approaching, we decided to once again count down the 50 area players to watch during the 2017-18 season. This #NBCSPREPS50 list isn't supposed to be the 50 best players or 50 best college prospects. It's meant to represent the players you'll likely hear about the most on many of the area's top teams.

Did we miss out on someone who should have made the top 50? Let us know about it on our Twitter: @NBCSPreps.

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 2 Whitney Young

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 2 Whitney Young

School:  Whitney Young

2016-17 record: 27-7, 8-2 Public League Red-West

Postseason results: Won Class 4A State Championship

Players to watch: The senior trio of Xavier Castaneda, Javon Freeman and Justin Boyd make up one of the best perimeter groups in the state this season. Castaneda, a USF commit, is one of the best point guards in the state, while Freeman, a Valparaiso commit, is one of the state's top slashers and scorers. Boyd, who was injured for part of last season, is a noted perimeter specialist who came up big in the state title game.

Why they're in the power rankings: Coming off of a Class 4A title last season, the Dolphins peaked at the right time when they were finally healthy. Losing Lucas Williamson will hurt but there might not be a better perimeter in the state then Castaneda, Freeman and Boyd. If the Dolphins get some of their younger pieces like Myles Baker and Tyler Beard to step up then they could have another solid chance at earning a championship.

Did you know? Whitney Young is the only team from Illinois rated in the USA Today's preseason national boys basketball rankings. The Dolphins come in at No. 23.