NBA PLAYOFFS 2013
(4) Brooklyn Nets VS Chicago Bulls (5)
Regular season record: 49-33 Brooklyn Nets : 45-37 Chicago Bulls
Regular season series: Brooklyn Nets 1-3 Chicago Bulls
- Since coming back from a two game injury stint on February 19th, Deron Williams is averaging 23.4 points and 8.1 assists on 48.2% shooting from the field and 42.2% from the 3-point line, which helped improve his PER to an overall mark of 20.38. His midrange jump shot especially is rounding into form, going a full 10 percentage points up (from 36.6% to 46.7%).
- The Brooklyn Nets most used offensive play are spot ups, where they score .98 points per possession which is middle of the pack in the league. Conversely, Chicago has the third best spot up defense allowing only .89 points per possession which is third in the league.
- The Bulls are 11th in isolation defense while the Nets are 4th in isolations and are the third most used Brooklyn set.
- Both Chicago and Brooklyn are in the bottom 5 in the league in pace
- Chicago has a 16-7 record with a net rating of 3.4 against the bottom ten teams in assists, of which the Nets are 25th.
Brooklyn can win if…
The Nets are a slow, plodding team that are at their best when they are in the half court, they have a top ten NBA offense which has been even better as of late. However, they struggle defensively and are tied with the Lakers for the worst defense in the playoffs. Fortunately for Brooklyn, the Bulls are a terrible offensive team who only cracks the top ten in offensive sets once. The Bulls are going to feed off Brooklyn’s somewhat stagnant offense, but if the Nets can mitigate the damage Joakim Noah with Brook Lopez’s play and just remain average on that end, the Bulls’ own offense won’t be able to keep up. The Bulls love to prevent the ball handler and the big from shooting the ball out of a pick and roll, so it will be up to Brooklyn’s wings (Joe Johnson especially) to knock down shots. If Deron Williams can continue to play and get to the rim like he currently is, and if Brook Lopez isn’t completely taken away by Noah, the Nets have a good shot.
Chicago can win if…
Chicago is reliant on their 5th ranked defense for their success. They slow teams down and beat them to death with their rotation and destruction of the opposing team’s pick and roll capabilities. The biggest decider is going to be if they can get anything out of their offense, which lacks spacing, shooting, and creativity. If Noah is healthy and the offense can run through him, the Bulls have a much better shot. Boozer is going to have to take advantage of Reggie Evans’ poor defense and a much maligned and streaky Chicago bench (I’m looking at you Nate Robinson) will need to hit their shots.
This is a tough one but I’m going with Brooklyn. Chicago’s starters are not only worn down from minute abuse, they’re banged up as well. Brooklyn’s offense thrives in a slow-it-down, half court type of game and that takes away a big advantage Chicago usually has defensively. It’s hard to trust Nate Robinson and Carlos Boozer as the two deciding factors on offense and with Deron Williams improved play of late and Brook Lopez’s excellent play all season, it makes the choice clear. It will be a close series and if the Bulls were to pull an upset I wouldn’t be shocked at all but as is I have the Nets in six.
Brooklyn Nets 4-2 Chicago Bulls