Looks More And More Likely The #Nets Will Be Facing #Bulls In Round One

Updated: April 6, 2013

The loss on Thursday night to the Chicago Bulls cannot be understated as now the Bulls also own the tiebreaker, so should the team’s end the season with the same record, Chicago would have home-court advantage in the playoffs. The three losses to the Bulls this year have been by a total of 14 points and two times the Nets had a shot to tie or win it in the end only to miss those shots and lose the games.

The Bulls’ win Thursday night currently puts them as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and pulling them within 1.5 games of Brooklyn for the fourth seed.

1. The first meeting of the season was in Chicago on December 15th, a game the Nets lost 83-82 when they had two shots in the end to win it and they both fell off the rim.  Deron Williams led the Nets with 24 points while Brook Lopez, in his second game back after missing seven games, had 18 points and 10 rebounds in just 25 minutes.  The Nets outrebounded the Bulls 41-33 and shot a horrible 38 percent and turned it over 18 times to decide the game. Kirk Hinrich did not play in this game.

2. The second game was at the Barclays Center on February 1st where the Nets prevailed and beat the Bulls 93-89 in another hard-fought game.  The Nets bench of MarShon Brooks, Andray Blatche and C.J. Watson combined for 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead Brooklyn to the win.  Brook Lopez led the Nets with 20 points, Brooklyn shot an impressive 52 percent from the field and once again outrebounded the Bulls 40-29.  The Bulls were missing Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich for that game.

3. The Nets went to Chicago on March 2nd and got beat 96-85 when Bulls center Joakim Noah scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds as well as five assists and four blocked shots.  Carlos Boozer added 20 points for the Bulls. Brook Lopez had 22 points for the Nets, who had lost four of their last five games at the time and in a rut.  The Nets 12 point second quarter did then in being outscored by 14 points and Deron Williams was 4 -of-12 from the field for 14 points in an off game.  Joe Johnson was a non factor.  The rebounds were even at 34 but the Nets 21 turnovers lost them the game 96-85.

4. The last game was Thursday night when the injury depleted Bulls came to the Barclays Center and came back from an early 16 point deficit to beat the Nets 92-90.  The Nets played well in the first half led by Brook Lopez 18 first quarter points, 28 total, and had an 11 point lead at halftime.  The Bulls outscored the Nets 56-43 in the second half to steal the game and ruin a stellar 30 point and 10 assist performance by Deron Williams.  The Bulls without five players were led by Carlos Boozer’s 29 points and 18 rebounds.  This game was the first game against the Bulls that the Nets got outrebounded, 46-30, and it gave Chicago the win with 13 offensive rebounds.

If these two teams do end up playing in the first round I don’t think that homecourt will have much impact whatsoever and it will be a seven game war for sure.  Both teams play at a slower pace and it will be a great series if it does happen.

My take – 50/50 either way but hopefully Brooklyn will have the Barclays Center crowd behind them for one additional game.

Mike Mazzeo ESPNNY

With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Nets (43-32) hold a one-game lead over the Chicago Bulls (42-33) for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, which would give them homecourt advantage in the first round. Joakim Noah and Luol Deng Bulls defend Joe Johnson

Given the standings, it looks like the Nets and Bulls are going to meet in Round 1.

A look at the remaining schedule for both teams and the Atlanta Hawks (42-35), who are currently in the No. 6 spot in the East:

Nets: vs. Charlotte; vs. Philadelphia; @ Boston; @ Indiana; @ Toronto; vs. Washington; vs. Detroit

Bulls: @ Detroit; vs. Toronto; vs. Knicks; @ Toronto; @ Miami; @ Orlando; vs. Washington

Hawks: @ San Antonio; @ Philadelphia; vs. Milwaukee; vs. Toronto; @ Knicks

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