The Brooklyn Nets, playing the first postseason game in Brooklyn since 1956 (Dodgers hosting the Yankees), grabbed the Bulls, and the series opener, by the horns. The final score, 106-89, is not indicative of how one-sided this game was. Brook Lopez jump-started the rout by scoring 12 points in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Deron Williams took over and helped the Nets pick apart the NBA’s 3rd stingiest defense (in terms of points allowed per game), heading into halftime with a 60-35 lead. The first half was where this game was lost and one of the main reasons was Chicago’s lack of aggression. Chicago entered the half having only gotten to the line five times.
Before the ball was even tipped, Chicago announced that Derrick Rose would likely sit out the playoffs. While that isn’t exactly “news”, considering he’s been out for the entire season, the prospect of him returning at least gave the Bulls aspirations of a surprisingly deep playoff run. Alas, Tom Thibodeau embarks on a second consecutive playoff series where he’s starting behind the 8-ball.
MVP & LVP
Even though Lopez got the Nets off to their hot start, it was Williams who turned the game into a laugher. His ability to create opportunities for his teammates, combined with some timely scoring of his own, earned him top honours for Game 1.
It’s hard to pin this loss on one person, especially someone who left due to injury, but Kirk Hinrich really did out-stink his fellow Bulls. He didn’t score a field goal, allowed Deron Williams to make a mockery of their defense, and was a game-worst -19.
Looking Forward to Game 2
Chicago needs to forget tonight’s first half ever happened. They played the Nets to a draw in the second half; crashing the boards, getting to the line, and generally matching Brooklyn point-per-point. Brooklyn doesn’t need to make any adjustments. They owned the paint, outscoring Chicago 56-36. It’s apparent that Joakim Noah is less than 100%, and Brooklyn took full advantage of that.
DWill brought is Dancing shoes tonight..
— Daniel Gibson Sr. (@BooBysWorld1) April 21, 2013
Sign of when the game officially has gotten away from you: Reggie Evans throwing a lob pass to Andray Blatche for a dunk. G’night.
— Sam Smith (@SamSmithHoops) April 21, 2013
I don’t know about my fellow beat writers, but I just booked hotels in Miami. The Bulls are punchless without Noah.
— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) April 21, 2013
“OK, Nate. I need you to take over now.” – thing that Thibodeau could legitimately be saying right now.
— netw3rk (@netw3rk) April 21, 2013