Updated: April 22, 2013

2013 NBA PLAYOFFS Round 1

Chicago Bulls (0-1) @ Brooklyn Nets (1-0)

Barclays Center 8:00


The Brooklyn Nets opened up their 2013 playoff run in Game 1 on Saturday with their hair on fire and dominated the Chicago Bulls from the opening tip.  The Nets ended with a wire to wire victory (106-89) and led by as many as 28 points at one point which was 12 points larger than the biggest lead they had in any of the four regular season games this season.Blackout in Brooklyn Dancers

The “Blackout in Brooklyn” started after the Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov took the microphone to speak to the crowd for a moment thanking all Nets fans for their support.  The next order of business was the surprise of the night where Brooklyn player Jerry Stackhouse took to the center of the floor and belted out a great rendition of the National Anthem to the delight of all Nets fans.  The players seemed extremely happy and hyped for Stackhouse and bombarded him at half court and the fire was then lit.

The Nets started with a passion that was not seen very often this year but it happened at just the right time.  Brook Lopez, playing in his first playoff game, looked fired up and focused from the jump ball.  He imposed his will in the middle with dunks and the ability to block and alter most of the shots that the Bulls took inside.  Lopez and Deron Williams scored 21 of the team’s 25 first-quarter points as the Nets took a 25-14 lead into the second quarter and never looked back.

The rout was on when Brooklyn hit 14 out of their last 15 shots to end the half up 60-35 lead and their chests out going into the lockerroom.  Lopez had 19 points and to go with Williams 15 points and the two of them almost matched the 35 total points the Bulls scored at half.The exclamation point to the game as I sat at Barclays Center was when Williams stole the ball from Carlos Boozer at the end of the third quarter and laid down a double pump reverse dunk.  The building felt like it was going to explode after that dunk and it seemed to break the will of the Bulls all at the same time.

The Nets got a bit sloppy in the fourth being outscored 27-17 but the game was over long before the quarter started.  The Nets held a +20 point advantage in points in the paint (56 to 36), shot a solid 55.8 percent from the field and only turned the ball over eight times to finish one their best games of the year at the best moment of the year.

image via @CKCash30

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:  The Bulls are a team that has won in the playoffs before so they are still very dangerous and can easily turn that bad game around tonight.  On the road in the playoffs, the Bulls own an all-time postseason record of 56-98 (.364) – sixth-best in the NBA so Brooklyn needs to keep that same focus and not let Chicago steal Game 2.  The Bulls are 33-29 (.532) in Game 2’s in team playoff history, however just 5-21 (.192) in Game 2’s played on the road.

The Nets need to keep their focus and use their inside presence with Lopez and Andray Blatche to pound the injury riddled front line of Chicago and play turnover free basketball to take a stronghold on this series and go up 2-0.  The health of Joakim Noah is a big factor for the rest of this series and if Williams can continue to run the show and torch the Bulls backcourt with the help of Joe Johnson the Nets will have a great chance to win the series.

SERIES 1-0 Brooklyn

4/20 – CHI 89 @ BKN 106

STAT FOR TONIGHT: The 106 points were the most the Nets have scored in regulation in the postseason since 4/17/04 vs. New York Knicks.

IF THE NETS WIN: It will mark the first time the Nets have won the first two games of a playoff series since 2004 when they swept the New York Knicks 4-0 in the first round. The Nets have held a 2-0 advantage in five playoff series’ in franchise history, winning all five.




Derrick Rose (left knee) is OUT

Taj Gibson (left knee) is day-to-day

Kirk Hinrich (left thigh) is day-to-day

Joakim Noah (right foot) is day-to-day

Vladimir Radmanovic (back) is day-to-day
images via @ckcash30

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