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Whose back to the wall?

Once again into the breach

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So who's got the pressure Thursday night? It would seem to be the Nets. If the Nets lose, their season is over. But the Bulls played poorly in their loss at Barclays Center and the Nets appear to have solved their defense, having scored 111 in regulation Saturday and 110 Monday. Moreover, the Nets frontline have dominated their Bulls counterpart in the paint and on the boards. If the Bulls lose, the series goes to seven games and a dramatic black-
and-white conclusion at Barclays Center. Moreover, there is the Derrick Rose controversy with Steve Kerr saying he should play if he's healthy and CBS Chicago telling fans to push Rose to play.

Still, Game 6 IS at the United Center where there will be 20,000+ Bulls fans and no more than a handful of Nets fans.

The Bulls biggest variable is Kirk Hinrich who is out of a walking boot but admits to being in a lot of pain and remains questionable. Joakim Noah continues to play through pain, too. For how long is the question.

For the Nets, the question is about Gerald Wallace. In the three games where the Nets have scored an average of 109 points --Games 1, 4 and 5-- Wallace has averaged 10 points. In the games where the Nets averaged 79 points, he only put up 3.5. Wallace, who scored five points in a matter of seconds to seal Game 5, says he has his confidence back ... and volunteered that the Nets are the better team. His shooting numbers, horrible all year, are now at the levels he hit right after the joined the Nets last year: 46 percent overall and 35.8 percent from deep. His defense? Ask Luol Deng.

Of course, the Nets will need Brook Lopez, who's been the series' most dominating player, and Deron Williams to continue to play the way they did in Game 5. And somehow, wounded warriors Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche will have to play in pain.