Matchup: Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets Game 1
Date/Time: April 20th, 8:00 pm ET
Basketball Odds from BetDSI
Point Spread: Nets -4.5
The Chicago Bulls have stormed into the postseason as one of the top contenders in the conference. However, they are the underdogs in Game 1 of the playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets in the first playoff game ever played at the Barclays Center.
The amount of problems that the Bulls went through this year were numerous. F Luol Deng missed seven games, F Carlos Boozer sat out three, C Joakim Noah missed 16, G Richard Hamilton was out for 32… We could go on and on. In fact, the only players that played in all 82 games this season for Chicago were G Nate Robinson and G Marco Belinelli. These injury concerns are dipping into the playoffs as well. F Taj Gibson has a knee problem that could hamper him in this series, while Noah is still battling plantar fasciitis. These two are expected to play in Game 1 on Saturday, but the news isn’t nearly as good for G Derrick Rose. Rose has been out for virtually a full year now after tearing his ACL against the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs last season, and though he hasn’t been ruled out for a return in this series at some point, this won’t be the game in which he is back.
Brooklyn is a healthy team coming into the playoffs, and this might be one of the more underestimated teams in the second season. The Nets were considered to be legitimate contenders at the outset of the season, but a poor start ended in Head Coach Avery Johnson getting fired. Since Head Coach PJ Carlesimo has taken over though, Brooklyn has gone 35-19, a .648 winning percentage. To put that in perspective, the New York Knicks, the Atlantic Division champs, only finished with a .659 winning percentage for the campaign. Though F Gerald Wallace has largely been a huge disappointment this season, the rest of the stars on the team have been pretty darn good. C Brook Lopez averaged 19.4 points per game this season, G Deron Williams was good for 18.9 points and 7.7 assists per game, while G Joe Johnson has been averaging 16.2 points per game for the campaign.
We really think that the Nets have been underrated here in the postseason. They are the better of these two teams as we see it, and they are going to prove it in this one. Brooklyn should be able to take down Chicago in each game in this series until the Bulls prove that they are a healthy team. With Rose, this is a team that could ultimately win the NBA title. Without him though, we know that this is going to be a team that is very beatable. Brooklyn 96 – Chicago 90
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.