Playoff Matchups: Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls

The NBA playoffs are finally here and that means it’s time for matchup previews. The fourth seeded Brooklyn Nets will do batter with the fifth seeded Chicago Bulls.

Projected Starting Lineups

Chicago  (45-37)                                                                Brooklyn (49-33)

PG Kirk Hinrich                                                                 PG Deron Williams

SG Jimmy Butler                                                               SG Joe Johnson

SF Luol Deng                                                                      SF Gerald Wallace

PF Carlos Boozer                                                              PF Reggie Evans

C Joakim Noah                                                                  C Brook Lopez

Schedule

4/20 Bulls @ Nets

4/22 Bulls @ Nets

4/25 Nets @ Bulls

4/27 Nets @ Bulls

4/29 Bulls at Nets (If Necessary)

5/2 Nets @ Bulls (If Necessary)

5/4 Bulls @ Nets (If Necessary)

Season Series

Chicago won the season series 3-1. The only Nets win of the series was when the Bulls were without Kirk Hinrich, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah.

Chicago                                                                                Brooklyn

90.0                                        PPG                       87.5

46.4%                                   FG%                       44.9%

26.0%                                    3PT%                     37.9%

82.4%                                    FT%                        69.5%

35.5                                        RPG                       36.3

22.5                                        APG                       17.5

15.0                                        TO                          18.3

Key Matchups

Kirk Hinrich/Nate Robinson vs Deron Williams

-This is a very intriguing matchup at the point guard position. Deron Williams, who was considered one of the top two point guards a few years ago, was not playing like that at the beginning of the season. However, since the All Star break, Williams has played like one of the top two point guards.

-Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson have done a nice job in replacing Derrick Rose this season. Hinrich is a guy who plays solid defense, especially against Williams. Robinson is the spark and x-factor off the Chicago bench. If the duo can continue their solid play, they will give the Bulls a good chance of surviving.

Jimmy Butler vs Joe Johnson

Jimmy Butler gets the nod at starting shooting guard position for the playoffs due to the struggles of Rip Hamilton and Marco Belinelli. Butler has played well over the course of the past month and will be a big factor for the Bulls.

-Joe Johnson, who came to the Brooklyn in the offseason from Atlanta in order to help Brooklyn get over the hump, has had a so-so season. He has been able to hit some late game shots, but there are times where he disappears. Johnson won’t be defended by just Butler, but by Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich as well.

Joakim Noah vs Brook Lopez

-The Bulls will welcome back All Star center Joakim Noah with open arms after he missed some games late in the regular season with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Noah will be one of the Chicago big men battling down low with the likes of Lopez, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche.

-Brook Lopez had the best season of his five-year career, being named an All Star for the first time. He has been Brooklyn’s best player all season long. He isn’t the best rebounder in the world, but he will try and keep Noah, Boozer, and the returning Taj Gibson off the glass.

This series has the potential of going the distance. This series will be a grind-it-out series, something both teams can play. The teams have played each other close this season and the playoff matchup should be no different. Brooklyn gets its first playoff series in the Barclays Center, while the Bulls will try and do damage in the playoffs without Derrick Rose, who hasn’t played all season long.

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