With Rose sidelined, they figure to lean on Deng, Carlos Boozer and Hamilton _ who had 19 points on just seven shots in Game 1 _ for scoring. C.J. Watson, who made 25 starts and averaged 9.7 points, is expected to get the nod at point guard with John Lucas III backing him up.
“Derrick Rose so distorts your defense,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said. “Everything you do is tilted toward him. It frees up a lot of opportunities for a lot of other guys.”
The Sixers might not have to trap as much or worry about the point guard creating havoc in the paint the way Rose does, but they still have to be careful. Watson scored 20 on them twice in the regular season.
“I think you stay with what you are as a team,” Thibodeau said. “It’s the defense, it’s the rebounding, keeping our turnovers low, inside-out. Whether it’s off the dribble or through the post-up, the ball has to (get to) the paint. The final thing is sharing the ball. We have to keep the ball moving, but we have to do that when Derrick plays. From that standpoint, I don’t think we have to change. It’s impossible to make up for Derrick’s individual greatness, but our collective greatness would cover that up.”
“I was surprised how many people read it and commented,” Korver said. “When things are tough, that’s when a lot of good can happen.”