Matchup: Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls
Date/Time: April 25, 2013 8:30 pm EST
NBA Betting Odds from Sportsbook.AG
ODDS: Bulls -3.5
Game One was a Nets blowout of the Bulls, but Game Two was a totally different story. The Chicago Bulls stole Game Two and evened the series at one each as the team’s return to Chicago for Game Three. Tom Thibodeau’s team clamped down on the defensive end to put together a gutsy win on Monday night. Let’s take a look at how Game Three might look.
The Brooklyn Nets dominated Game One, but they just couldn’t get going offensively in Game Two on Monday night. Brooklyn shot just 39 percent from the floor on Monday, and they were a brutal 4 for 21 from three-point range. Gerald Wallace, who was a key contributor in the team’s Game One win, had just two points in Monday’s loss. Brooklyn didn’t get to the rim and get easy buckets as they did in their win. When this team is relegated to shooting three’s, they aren’t all that great. The Nets shot 35.7 percent from the three-point line in the regular season.
Deron Williams is one of the best point guards in the game right now, and he is a great leader for the team. Brooklyn has a lot of strength and rebounding ability in the frontcourt. Brook Lopez, Reggie Evans, and Gerald Wallace are all very good on the glass. They have a real battle down low in this one because of the Bulls strength on the inside. The Nets have to hold their own on the glass in this series. Brooklyn allowed only 95.1 points per game this season.
The Bulls looked terrible in the first game, but you have to give the team a lot of credit for coming back the way they did in Game Two. Tom Thibodeau is one of the league’s most underrated coaches, and he seems to do a very good job motivating his players. Joakim Noah played despite a pretty severe foot injury, and his work on the inside was a major boost for the team. With Noah, Carlos Boozer, and Taj Gibson the bulls have one of the best frontcourts in basketball. Boozer has been very good in both of the first two games of this series. Luol Deng leads the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game, and he had a double double in the win on Monday.
The real key to Chicago’s success in the playoffs at this point is their defense. This team can lock opponents down about as much as anyone in the league when they are at their best. The Bulls are allowing 92.9 points per game, which is third best in the NBA. They can’t outscore their opponent in a high scoring game very often, so they’ll always be looking to slow the tempo down.
Free Pick: Under 181
The Bulls and Nets both play in the halfcourt, and this game is crucial to both teams. I expect a close game that stays low scoring all the way.
Bulls 90 Nets 87
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