Matchup: Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls
Date/Time: Thursday, May 2, 8 p.m. (ET)
NBA Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: Chicago -2
Total Line: 184
In what has been one of the better first-round matchups in this year’s NBA playoffs, Brooklyn finds itself in another must-win situation to keep this best-of-seven series alive. After winning Game 1 in a romp at home, the Nets suffered three-straight setbacks before hammering-out a 110-91 victory in Game 5 as 6.5-point home favorites this past Monday night. They now have a chance to even things up at three games apiece to force a deciding Game 7 on their home court this upcoming Saturday night.
To get to point, Brooklyn will need another big game from both Brook Lopez and Deron Williams. Lopez scored a game-high 28 points and pulled down 10 rebounds while Williams added 23 points and 10 assists in Monday’s crucial win. Overall, the two have combined to average 44.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists in the first five games of this series. The Nets are averaging 101.6 points a game while shooting 45.1 percent from the floor.
Chicago missed the presence of Kirk Hinrich in the lineup in Game 5 and will most likely not have its assist leader for Thursday night as he continues to nurse a sore calf. Nate Robinson filled his place in the starting lineup and came through with 20 points and eight assists in Monday’s loss. The Bulls shot 49.3 percent from the field in that game but they were manhandled under the boards with just 33 rebounds as compared to the Nets’ 44.
To advance to the next round and avoid a dreaded trip back to the Barclays Center for a Game 7, Chicago is going to have to get back to what has gotten it to this point; playing shutdown defense. The Bulls only averaged 93.2 points a game in the regular season but they came into the playoffs ranked third in the NBA in points allowed (92.9) and eighth in total rebounds (43.2).
Free NBA Pick
These two teams have already played a few grinders in this series as well as a couple of shootouts, but look for the Bulls to slow down the pace on Thursday night with a much better effort underneath against Lopez. This game could be a good play for the UNDER but the free pick on the side is with Chicago to grind-out the win at home to close things out.
Chicago 91 Brooklyn 87
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.