Brooklyn Nets @ Chicago Bulls, Game 3 Preview

Brooklyn Nets @ Chicago Bulls, Game 3

Location: United Center, Chicago, IL

Time: 8:30PM on NBA TV/My9


Probable Starting Lineups (With Series Stats Thru Two Games)


PG Deron Williams (15.0 PPG, 8.5 APG, 2.0 SPG, .417 FG%, .250 3P%, .889 FT%)

SG Joe Johnson (16.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, .419 FG%, .417 3P%, 1.000 FT%)

SF Gerald Wallace (8.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, .429 FG%, .250 3P%, .600 FT%)

PF Reggie Evans (4.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, .667 FG%, .500 FT%)

C Brook Lopez (21.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.0 BLKPG, .483 FG%, .933 FT%)


PG Kirk Hinrich (7.5 PPG, 3.5 APG, 1.5 STLPG, .308 FG%, .500 3P%, .556 FT%)

SG Jimmy Butler (9.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 BLKPG, .500 FG%)

SF Luol Deng (10.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.5 APG, .357 FG%)

PF Carlos Boozer (19.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, .563 FG%)

C Joakim Noah (7.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.5 BLKPG, .429 FG%)


Key Bench Players:


PG C.J. Watson (12.0 PPG, 3.0 APG, .588 FG%, .400 3P% in in 24.5 MINPG)

C Andray Blatche (10.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, .500 FG% in 20.0 MINPG)

PF Kris Humphries (5.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, .444 FG%, 1.000 FT% in 13.0 MINPG)

SF Keith Bogans (0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, in 11.5 MINPG


PG Nate Robinson (14.0 PPG, 1.5 APG, 1.0 STLPG, .522 FG% in 23.0 MINPG

PF Taj Gibson (7.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, .750 FG% in 17.0 MPG)

SG Marco Bellinelli (10.5 PPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 STLPG, .467 FG%, .857 FT% in 15.5 MINPG)

C Nazr Mohammed (4.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.00 BLKPG, .667 FG% in 12.0 MINPG)


Injury Report:

Brooklyn: None

Chicago: PG Derrick Rose (OUT), Joakim Noah (Probable)

Keys to the Game:

1. Deron Williams vs. Bulls’ Defense: In Game 1, Deron Williams scored 22 points (9-15 shooting) and collected 7 assists and 3 steals as the Nets torched the Bulls and won 106-89. In Game 2, Kirk Hinrich successfully guarded Williams and he shot just 1-9 from the field despite getting 10 assists. D-Will has played brilliant basketball since the Nets replaced Avery Johnson with P.R. Carlesimo as coach, averaging 20.2 PPG on .461 shooting (.416 from 3) and 7.7 APG in his last 50 games as the Nets went 35-19 over that span. Easily the best player in the series, as he goes, so do the Brooklyn Nets

2. Size matters: Both the Bulls and the Nets have elite defenses, capable of shutting down most opponents. Both teams owe it to their size. Center Joakim Noah finished 4th in the Defensive Player of the Year voting and his health was the literal difference between the first two games in this series. The Nets’ 7-footer Brook Lopez enjoyed a breakout season for Brooklyn, putting up a whopping 24.81 player efficiency rating, 5th best in the NBA. The Bulls also have two other solid big men in Carlos Boozer and Nazr Mohammed, but the Nets may have a little bit more depth behind Lopez: Reggie Evans with his 11.1 RPG and Andray Blatche, who seems to have left his bad personality in Washington. The size may be the key to the series in general: Defense, rebounding, inside scoring etc. The Nets may have a bit more of the offense and rebounding than the Bulls

3. Health: The Bulls have been the most banged up team in the NBA. Derrick Rose hasn’t played a game since Game 1 of last year’s playoffs, but right now their biggest concern is Joakim Noah. He is still battling a foot injury that limited him to 13 minutes in Game 1. Game 2 was a different story, as he played 25 minutes and put in 11 points and 10 rebounds and provided some big grinding plays to help the Bulls hang on to tie the series. Noah is again limited but may be able to play another 20-25 minutes, and that might be enough.
Prediction: Back in sweet home Chicago, I think the Bulls can grind out another win, but I think this whole series will be in tight, as I previously picked the Bulls in six. I’m sticking with that.


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