Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets
Tip-off: Monday, April 22, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and YouWager experts know the Brooklyn Nets are a confident team with an offense in rhythm. Brooklyn picked apart the Bulls’ defense in Game 1, rolling to a 106-89 win. Tonight these teams return to Barclays Center on for Game 2 and Chicago will have to slow down a team that finished the regular season well and opened the NBA playoffs even better.
The opener game was close for only the first few minutes. Brooklyn began pulling away late in the first quarter, then made 16 of 20 shots in the second, shooting 60 percent in the first half and opening a 60-35 lead.
The Nets won six of their final seven games of the regular season after opening April with a 92-90 defeat versus the Bulls.
Brooklyn scored more than 100 points in each win and are looking much healthier than the banged-up Chicago, and with Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, have three starters who can hurt even one of the league’s best defenses.
Chicago wasn’t able to practice Sunday, instead watching film. However, the Bulls didn’t really need reminders of everything they did wrong, or of the situation they face.
According to Thibodeau center Joakim Noah, who was ineffective while playing through a painful right foot injury, felt better and would start as long as he was healthy. He also defended point guard Derrick Rose, who has been criticized for not returning from last year’s knee surgery, even though he was physically cleared long ago and has taken part in practices for weeks.
The Nets finished at nearly 56 percent shooting and had six players score in double figures. Brooklyn averaged only 87.5 points in four games versus the Bulls during the regular basketball season, losing three of four, and interim coach P.J. Carlesimo knows he can’t count on a repeat of what his team did Saturday.