NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, April 25th (All times Eastern)
(4) Brooklyn Nets (1-1) at (5) Chicago Bulls (1-1), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls stole home-court advantage from the Brooklyn Nets with a win in Game 2, and now the series shifts to the Windy City Thursday night.
Based on the records of these two teams, that might not be the kind of disadvantage for the Nets as it would be for other teams.
Brooklyn went 23-18 away from the Barclays Center this season, which tied for the second-best road mark in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls were only 24-17 at the United Center during the regular season and that was the second-worst home record of the eight Eastern Conference playoff teams.
"Our mindset is good on the road," said interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo. "They're not bothered by, maybe because we have a veteran team, a lot of things that make other teams uncomfortable."
In Game 2 on Monday, the Bulls used a dominant third quarter to earn the 90-82 victory. Chicago held Brooklyn to 11 points in the third and held the Nets to 35 percent shooting for the night.
Three Bulls players - Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah - all registered double-doubles on Monday. Kirk Hinrich played well with 13 points, five assists and just one turnover.
Brook Lopez paced the Nets with 21 points in Game 2 and Joe Johnson scored 17. Deron Williams only managed eight points on nine shots, but did hand out 10 assists.
One of the best subplots of this series has involved feet, or, more specifically, plantar fascitis.
Noah and Johnson are both suffering from the affliction and both are fighting through it best they can. Johnson played over 39 minutes in Monday's loss, while Noah played 25:29.
"It feels like you have needles underneath your foot while you're playing," said Noah, who finished fourth in Defensive Player of the Year voting on Wednesday. "You can imagine - you need to jump, you need to run, you need to do a lot of things while you're playing basketball, so you don't want needles on your feet, right?"
Noah was listed as questionable for Game 1 and frankly, no one knew if he would play until he was introduced as a starter.
Johnson is listed as questionable for Thursday and sat out of practice on Wednesday. He was a huge factor in Brooklyn's fourth-quarter offense on Monday and his absence would be difficult to overcome.
"I fought so hard to get to this point," said Johnson. "It lingered here and there. I have my good days and bad days. It needs rest and I don't have time for that."
The Bulls won both games against the Nets in Chicago during the regular season. The Nets have dropped 10 of their last 12 in the Windy City, where Game 4 is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
04/25 10:29:19 ET