My worst fears went unrealized as the Sixers decided to go with Lavoy Allen as the starting center for Game 1 of Sixers-Bulls over several other options. Here’s Dei Lynam with the scoop:
Rookie center Lavoy Allen will make his first-career playoff start when the Sixers take on the Bulls on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the first round.
That means Spencer Hawes will start the game on the bench. Hawes had double-digit rebounds in five of the first six games of the season but since missing time with an Achilles injury has struggled. He has just one double-digit rebounding performance in his last 20 games.
Allen, who ranked as the 500th best player in the NBA to start the season, according to the panel of “experts”, ex-players, journalists, and bloggers that were asked to rank every NBA player. The 500th best is just a nicer way to say that Allen was the worst player in the NBA going into this season, according to them (and the gap between him and the next best player wasn’t that close, either). Behind Eddy Curry, even. Going from complete afterthought to only a slight afterthought and playoff starter is quite the one year transformation. I don’t necessarily agree with the lineup that looks to be in place, but at least Tony Battie is not part of it, like I expected for game 1.
Unlike some other contenders, the Bulls don’t have any massive front court players in their starting five to contend with. So starting a smaller 4-5 combination like Elton Brand and Mr. 500 won’t hurt us too much.