IT'S PLAYOFF TIME FOR BROOKLYN'S NETS!

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Five years of bad basketball have ended. The Nets made the playoffs and won homecourt advantage. Now comes the hard part: playing and winning the games, giving it all for as long as you can in hopes of getting a shot at the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Stranger things have happened.

The Bulls are the first team to stand in the way of the dream, although they are decimated, they can still beat you, as they proved with nine healthy players back on April 4. Like Saturday night in Brooklyn, the Bulls were without Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, even Marco Belinelli, the Nets lost late, 92-90, one of the more frustrating games of the season.

Carlos Boozer destroyed the Nets that night with 29 points and 18 rebounds and Nate Robinson hit the dagger after Kirk Hinrich fouled out. It was that a good test of will for the Nets. who before that had lost two of three. They failed. This time, it looks like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah are expected out. Two big losses, but the Bulls still have Tom Thibodeau.

For the Nets, this is a big deal, bringing the playoff atmosphere to Brooklyn. Brett Yormark promises a surprise or two and there will be a new introductory video. The Nets do have an advantage in having so many players with so much playoff experience. Of the 15 players on the roster, nine have a total of 313 players games, topped by Jerry Stackhouse (71), Joe Johnson (62) and Deron Williams (44). Expect big games from Brooklyn's Backcourt. They have had big games in the past and they'll need to show soon what they can do. As for Brook Lopez, his excitement at finally making the playoffs is genuine and palpable. Meanwhile, Gerald Wallace hopes he can turn his disappointint season around with a new start in the playoffs.

The doors open at 6 p.m. at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic. What's left to say? GO NETS!

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