Dec. 15 at the United Center
Bulls 83, Nets 82
The Bulls, playing without Kirk Hinrich and Rip Hamilton, rallied from a 77-71 deficit with five minutes remaining. Rookie Marquis Teague played much of the fourth quarter. He and Marco Belinelli (19 points) scored most of the baskets down the stretch. Belinelli hit the go-ahead shot with 22 seconds left, then added 2 free throws to make it a 3-point game before Deron Williams (24 points) hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Feb. 1 at the Barclays Center
Nets 93, Bulls 89
The Bulls didn't have Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer or Kirk Hinrich but still nearly pulled this one out. They closed within 84-82 with 1:23 left, then gave up a 3-point play to Andray Blatche. Luol Deng and Taj Gibson played 48 minutes, while Belinelli and Deng led the way with 18 points each. Nate Robinson dished out 11 assists. Brook Lopez scored 20 points for the Nets.
March 2 at the United Center
Bulls 96, Nets 85
Outscoring the Nets 26-12 in the second quarter, the Bulls opened an 18-point lead heading into the fourth and held on. Joakim Noah produced 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Carlos Boozer scored 20 points. Brook Lopez led Brooklyn with 22 points. The missing Bulls on this night were Rip Hamilton and Taj Gibson.
April 4 at the Barclays Center
Bulls 92, Nets 90
This one produced a playoff-quality fourth quarter, the Bulls rallying to win after falling behind 26-11 at the start. They trailed by 3 in the final minute before Luol Deng hit a jumper and Nate Robinson stole a pass and hit a go-ahead floater in the lane with 22 seconds left. With the Nets trailing by 1, Nazr Mohammed blocked a Brook Lopez layup attempt. After a Daequan Cook free throw made it a 2-point game, Lopez missed a 20-foot corner jumper just before time expired. Carlos Boozer had 29 points and 18 rebounds. Deron Williams (30 points) and Lopez (28) did most of the scoring for Brooklyn. The Bulls played without Joakim Noah, Taj Gbison, Marco Belinelli and Rip Hamilton.
A look at the Nets
Center Brook Lopez averaged 22 points against the Bulls this season while shooting 53 percent from the field. But a lack of rebounds (5.5 against the Bulls) always has been a complaint.
Point guard Deron Williams is an all-star caliber player who never has risen to superstar level, either with Carlos Boozer in Utah or in Brooklyn. He averaged 19.8 points and 6.8 assists against the Bulls, shooting 41.5 percent.
Shooting guard Joe Johnson was fairly quiet against the Bulls, averaging 13.0 points. The Bulls know him well from his days in Atlanta.
Small forward Gerald Wallace used to give the Bulls fits when he played for Charlotte, but he has been mostly absent in the Nets' offense, averaging 6 points and 7 rebounds against the Bulls.
Power forward Reggie Evans does the dirty work Lopez doesn't but is primarily a rebounder. He's averaged just 2.0 points against the Bulls this season and didn't make a big impact defensively.
Forward Andray Blatche has had a long, slow climb from his days as an athletic specimen in Washington to becoming a decent contributor with the Nets. He averaged 10.3 points against the Bulls and can be tough to handle in the post at 6-feet-11.
Backup point guard C.J. Watson spent the two previous seasons with the Bulls. He averaged just 2.0 assists in 19 minutes this season, less than half of what he had last year.
Backup guard Keith Bogans was a nice role player who couldn't give the Bulls the offense they needed when he started at shooting guard in the 2010-11 season. Against the Bulls this year he averaged 0.8 points and shot 25 percent.
Backup guard Marshon Brooks is a talented scorer who doesn't always play much because of his defensive liabilities.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.