It's fairly simple: the Nets have to steal a game on the Bulls homecourt this weekend. If they do, they go home in great shape. If they don't, the loss in Game 2 will look a lot worse.
The Nets have looked like two different teams thus far. In the first, they looked like world beaters, championship contenders with a crisp offense and a more than adequate defense, all of it fueled by Deron Williams' confidence. In the second, they hit 4-of-21 three pointers, got pushed around and their franchise player couldn't seem to get untracked. Part of it, no doubt, was Tom Thibodeau's defensive adjustments but part of it may have just been a bad shooting night. We shall see.
The Bulls are by no means unbeatable in Chi-town. Their home record this season was only one game better than the Nets' road record (24 wins to 23) ... despite the United Center's reputation as a tough place to play. Both teams have one player down to plantar fasciitis. Joakim Noah's case may be worse, but Joe Johnson's may be more problematic because of the position he plays.
"Yeah, but it's a little different for me and Noah," Johnson said. "I'm chasing guys off screens, penetrating and cutting, and he's a big man so it's a lot different."
Thibodeau is sure Johnson will play and be effective. "Joe's a great player. In his career he's done amazing things. He shoots the ball, he puts it on the floor, he can post, he can pass. I got great respect for what he's done in the league." No doubt, he has a plan to stop him, too.
The game starts at 8:30 and can be found on MY9 in New York and NBA TV nationally and internationally.
- Brooklyn Nets Post-Season Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Chicago Bulls Post-Season Game Notes - Chicago Bulls
- Nets at Bulls - April 25, 2013 - Andrew Seligman - AP
- Nets Regroup Before Heading to Chicago (Video) - Ben Couch - Brooklyn Nets
- Nets hope road success travels to Chicago - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Against Bulls, Nets Keep Searching for Right Combinations - Jake Appleman - New York Times
- How the Nets wound up relying on their bench in Game 2 - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- P.J.: Wallace needs more minutes - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Slowing down free-wheeling Robinson key for Brooklyn - George Willis - New York Post
- Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson may sit out Game 3 vs. Chicago Bulls with plantar fasciitis - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
Nets' three keys to Game 3 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets' MarShon Brooks would like to see more action against Bulls - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Deron Williams chalks Nets' loss up to his having bad game - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Derrick Rose of Chicago Bulls shouldn't be second-guessed for not playing - Michael Wilbon - ESPN
- As Nets, Bulls Head to Chicago, Physicality Emerges as Big Key - Josh Newman - SNY Nets
- GSN: P.J. Carlesimo and Tom Thibodeau Reflect on Monday Night’s Game (Video) - SNY Nets
- Noah feels better, expects same workload - Nick Friedell - ESPN Chicago
- Watson focused on games, not Nate - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN Chicago
- Joakim Noah focused on Game 3, not ‘individual accolades’ - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun-Times
- Bulls’ front office has no problem with how coach Tom Thibodeau allocates minutes - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun-Times
- Some perspective on Derrick Rose’s injury - Joe Cowley - Chicago Sun-Times
- Carlos Boozer playing as he always does against Brooklyn Nets - K.C. Johnson - Chicago Tribune
- Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson injured, but Chicago Bulls preparing as if he'll play - K.C. Johnson - Chicago Tribune
- Game 3 spotlight: Deron Williams vs. Kirk Hinrich - Chicago Tribune
- For the Chicago Bulls, it's defense, defense, defense (Video) - Chicago Tribune