Bulls-Nets Preview

Brooklyn Nets Status Check:
Record: 43-31
Division: 9-4
Conference: 30-14
Home Record: 22-14
Last 10 Games: 6-4
Streak: Won 1
Last game: 113-95 win over Cleveland
PPG: 96.4 (18th)
Opponents PPG: 95.0 (5th)
Offensive Rating: 107.9 (8th)
Defensive Rating: 106.4 (18th)
Pace: 88.5 (29th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .496 (14th)
Turnover Percentage: .142 (23rd)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .738 (11th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .310 (3rd)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .218 (8th)
Opp. eFG%: .504 (18th)
Opp. TO%: .130 (24th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .170 (2nd)
Leading scorer: Brook Lopez (19.1)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Brooklyn Injury Report:
Joe Johnson: missed Wednesday’s game (sore heel)
Gerald Wallace: missed Wednesday’s game (sore foot)

Overview:
One team can beat any other team on a given night in the NBA, and there may not be a better example of that than the Chicago Bulls. They ended Miami’s 27-game winning streak, without many of their best players. Three games later, they lost their second game this season to the Washington Wizards, with the same lineup.

Now the Wizards aren’t as bad as they have been in recent season. Or even as bad as they were to start this year, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t ugly. Whenever you get outscored by the worst offense in the league, it’s been a bad day at the office. Although when your offense is 22nd in the league, it happens more often than one would think. In the end it was a loss to a subpar team that, with the win over the Bulls, has won eight straight at home.

Brooklyn will be on the second night of a back-to-back after blowing out Cleveland on Wednesday night. MarShon Brooks scored a career-high 27 points (12-16 FG) to go with seven assists and Deron Williams posted 24 points and eight assists.

Because it was a blowout, nobody had to log huge minutes for the Nets. Brooks was the highest with 37 minutes, with everyone else playing 27 minutes (Williams and Reggie Evans) or less.

The Nets won’t have too many tired bodies tonight, but the Bulls will after this game. Chicago has five players out for this game: Rip Hamilton, Derrick Rose, Marco Belinelli, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah. That means Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler are all but guaranteed to play at least 44 minutes. This isn’t exactly what you want to be forced into doing in the stretch run before the playoffs, but it’s exactly how the Bulls’ season is going. Or the Bulls could play the likes of Daequan Cook, Vladimir Radmanovic and Marquis Teague while getting some rest for the more important players.

“The No. 1 thing is just getting guys healthy and seeing who’s available,” Brooklyn coach P.J. Carlesimo said before Wednesday’s game. “We’ve got to get through these next couple (of games) and hopefully we can take a deep breath and get situated.”

Wait a second. Is he trying to say you don’t have to win every single regular season game? But what if the Bulls have already clinched a playoff spot and could really only fall to seventh in the Eastern Conference, which right now would matchup with the Knicks, a team Chicago has had a lot of success against this season? I guess there are other options than running people into the ground.

If the Bulls do take down the Nets, it’ll help them in the playoff chase. Chicago is sixth right now and Brooklyn is in fourth, 2.5 games ahead of the Bulls. With many of Chicago’s opponents below .500 to finish the year, it’s possible that the Bulls could get to that fourth spot in the playoffs and have home court in round one. If that were the case, the Bulls would then have to face Miami if they were to make it past the first round.

The Bulls are 2-1 against the Nets this season, with every game being decided by single digits. Boozer is averaging 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in his two games against Brooklyn this season.

But Noah, who will be out still battling that ever-present plantar fasciitis, was posting 16.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.0 blocks in the two contests he played against Brooklyn.

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One Response to Bulls-Nets Preview

  1. sarutkow@gmail.com'
    scott r April 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    I try to convince myself that if the Bulls face the Knicks in round one and the Pacers in round 2, while the Celtics and Nets beat up the Heat then it could be a fun playoffs. So I want the Bulls to lose and stay below 4-5 spot.

    But then I realize the farthest the Bulls will probably get is the second round so why not beat up the Heat in the second round and hopefully some team can beat them later on in the playoffs (with help from us).

    I want the Bulls to win and Thibs has done this all season and we know the Bulls limits. Make it fun while it lasts.

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