The playoffs have finally arrived! In only a few short hours, the Brooklyn Nets will kick off their 2013 NBA playoffs campaign at home against the Chicago Bulls. It is the first Nets playoff appearance since 2007 and they are excited to be back.
Even though the Nets are not favorites to win the NBA championship, anything can happen in the playoffs, and the first step to winning a championship will be winning game 1 tonight. Even though the Nets franchise has not been to the playoffs recently, many players on the roster have lots of playoff experience, led by Jerry Stackhouse with 71 games, Joe Johnson with 62, and Deron Williams with 44. It will be the first playoff game for the longest tenured Net, Brook Lopez, who has suffered through some hard times with this organization. Also, although Gerald Wallace is a veteran, he has not had much playoff experience because his best years were spent with the Charlotte Bobcats, who only went to the playoffs once.
The Nets’ opponents in this series are the Chicago Bulls. The biggest issue for Chicago is injuries, and they should play a major role in the game tonight. It has already been announced that Derrick Rose is not playing. Joakim Noah is doubtful, but even if he plays he will come off the bench and not play more than 10 or 15 minutes. With Chicago’s two best players out of the way, Brooklyn needs to win this game.
Or course the Bulls do have some dangerous weapons. The last time these two teams played, Carlos Boozer nearly had a 30 point-20 rebound game. Reggie Evans and Brook Lopez have to prevent that from happening again. Also, Jimmy Butler has been on a role since the all-star break and is dangerous both on offense and defense. It is impossible to predict what Nate Robinson is going to do, but he is always capable of having a 25-point game.
Of course, the Nets have some pretty good players too. Deron Williams should have a monster series going against Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson, two players not known for their defense. Brook Lopez will be going against Nazr Mohammed, who is 100 years old (ok 35 is close enough). Those two players have been Brooklyn’s best players this season and both have very favorable matchups. Additionally, Joe Johnson is always capable of a 30-point game and Andray Blatche off the bench is bigger than any defender Chicago has.
The game starts at 8 pm in Brooklyn. We hope to see you there!