Taking a closer look at the 76ers

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Taking a closer look at the 76ers

With the Bulls set to welcome the Philadelphia 76ers to town to kick off the playoffs Saturday, let's take a closer look at the team from the City of Brotherly Love:

2011-12 Record: 35-31

Coach: Doug Collins

Eastern Conference Seed: 8

Record against Bulls: 1-2

--Feb. 1: Sixers win 98-82
--Mar. 4: Bulls win 96-91
--Mar. 17: Bulls win 89-80

Leading scorer: Lou Williams -- 14.9 ppg

Leading rebounder: Spencer Hawes -- 7.3 rpg
Projected Starting Five:

PG: Jrue Holiday (13.5 ppg, 4.5 apg)
SG: Jodie Meeks (8.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg)
SF: Andre Iguodala (12.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 5.5 apg)
PF: Elton Brand (11 ppg, 7.2 rpg)
C: Nikola Vucevic (5.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg)

Notes:

--Vucevic has gotten the majority of the starts at center lately, but Spencer Hawes has gotten the most minutes there. Hawes began the year in the starting lineup and surprised many with his stellar play, averaging close to a double-double before back and Achilles injuries knocked him out for all but two games from mid-January to mid-March. Hawes is averaging a career-high 7.3 rebounds per game and 1.3 blocks per game.

--Doug Collins coached the Bulls from 1986-87 through 1988-89 with a record of 137-109 in the three seasons. He was a graduate from Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., where the Redbirds' home court is named after him. The 76ers made him the first overall pick in the 1973 NBA Draft.

--The Sixers' win in Philadelphia on Feb. 1 by 16 tied for the second-largest margin of defeat for the Bulls this season.

--Though the Sixers are 1-2 against the Bulls, they actually led point differential 269-267 thanks to the 16-point win.

--Philadelphia backup guard Evan Turner is a Chicago product. The Oak Park native went to St. Joseph's in Westchester. The versatile swingman started 19 games this season, averaging 9.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

Honda Road Ahead: Bulls continue playoff push against Cavaliers, Hawks

Honda Road Ahead: Bulls continue playoff push against Cavaliers, Hawks

Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill and Will Perdue break down the Bulls' upcoming schedule in the latest edition of the Bulls Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers.

TNT Bulls are back this week as the team heads into a crucial stretch. 

Currently, the Bulls sit half a game back of the Miami Heat for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and with just eight games remaining on the schedule, each contest is essentially a must-win. 

So, yes, Thursday would be a great time for Jimmy Butler and company to summon their TNT alter ego. The Bulls have sealed 18 straight victories when playing on TNT Thursday, an improbable feat considering those games are usually reserved for two of the NBA's best. 

To continue that run, they'll have to down Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are also fighting for playoff positioning -- albeit at the top of the conference. Good thing the Bulls have a tendency to get up for big games. 

"The Bulls play up and down to their competition," Bulls Pregame and Postgame analyst Kendall Gill said. "They've been doing that the whole season." 

After Cleveland, the Bulls get set to battle another playoff squad, the Atlanta Hawks. 

Watch the video above to see Schanowski, Gill and Perdue break down the matchups. 

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson's foot could keep him out until late May

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson's foot could keep him out until late May

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Charlie Tilson will spend another three weeks in a walking boot and is likely out until at least the end of May.

The White Sox outfielder has been wearing the boot ever since he re-aggravated a stress reaction in his right foot earlier this month. Tilson is also rehabbing a torn hamstring that required surgery last August and ended his 2016 season early.

The White Sox later downed the San Francisco Giants 4-3 at Camelback Ranch. Catcher Roberto Pena had a two-out, two-run single in the ninth.

“It’s likely going to be a little bit of a process from there,” Tilson said. “One of those things you have to listen to your body. Like I said, it may take more time than I would like. But the ultimate goal is to be sustainable and get myself back to where I need to be.”

The White Sox top options for center field remain veteran Peter Bourjos and prospect Jacob May. They also could use Leury Garcia in center, manager Rick Renteria said.

Center field is one of several open roster battles with only three full days to go in camp. The team is off on Thursday before playing a pair of exhibition games at Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday.

“We’ll figure it out, and it could be in the next couple of days,” Renteria said. “We just have to allow it to play out and then make a determination at that point.”

The White Sox also have two spots up for grabs in the back of the bullpen. Michael Ynoa, who is out of options, non-roster invitees Anthony Swarzak, Cory Luebke and Matt Purke, and rookie Zack Burdi are vying for jobs. Rookie Juan Minaya is likely to start the season on the disabled list.

Rule 5 draftee Dylan Covey, who pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings on Saturday, could figure into the team’s plans even more if Carlos Rodon starts the season on the disabled list. Covey is expected to start for the White Sox on Wednesday against the San Diego Padres.

Sunday’s starter James Shields said he’s ready for the regular season after throwing five innings. Shields allowed three earned runs and eight hits, walked three and struck out two.

He finished the Cactus League with a 3.45 ERA in 15 2/3 innings.

“Overall I felt good and I’m ready to move on,” Shields said. “These last couple outings I’ve been trying to work on my two-seam fastball. Today it was a little erratic, but overall felt pretty good.”

Nate Jones struck out two in a scoreless inning pitched. David Robertson, Blake Smith and Dan Jennings also pitched a scoreless inning.

Jose Abreu doubled and walked in four trips. Melky Cabrera singled twice in three trips.