Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets (-6.5, 181.5)
Series tied at 3-3.
The Brooklyn Nets attempt to become the ninth team in NBA history to
recover from a 3-1 deficit and win a postseason series when they host
the Chicago Bulls in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference first-round
series. Chicago looked to be in good shape after its epic
triple-overtime victory in Game 4 but the Nets bounced back with two
solid efforts, including a 95-92 win on Thursday in Game 6 in Chicago.
big mystery is who will be healthy enough to play for the Bulls in the
series finale. Forward Luol Deng, who missed Game 6 with an illness, has not traveled with the team and will not suit up Saturday. Point guard Kirk
Hinrich (calf) missed the last two games and is a game-time decision.
Guard Nate Robinson and forward Taj Gibson are battling illnesses and
forward Joakim Noah has been plagued for weeks with a foot injury.
Meanwhile, former MVP Derrick Rose continues to sit out due to his
personal concerns about his knee despite being medically cleared by the
club. Brooklyn center Brook Lopez has experienced a superb series and
his 17 points in Game 6 represented the first time he didn’t score at
least 20. He is averaging 22.5 points.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, YES (Brooklyn)
ABOUT THE BULLS:
Game 4 star Nate Robinson was so ill during Game 6 that he vomited on
the bench during timeouts on multiple occasions. Robinson persevered to
play nearly 42 minutes and had 18 points, second-most on the squad
behind Marco Belinelli’s 22. Robinson has averaged 24 points over the
past three games and has stepped up with Hinrich ailing. Forward Carlos
Boozer is averaging 17.5 points and 11.2 rebounds and has four
double-doubles in the series. Noah has three double-doubles while being
physically hampered. “This has been a hard year, a really hard year,”
Noah said after Game 6. “But I’m really proud of this team. We’re a team
ABOUT THE NETS: Brooklyn viewed itself as
the more-talented squad when the series began and that remains the
prevailing belief entering Game 7. “We feel like we’re the better team,”
forward Gerald Wallace said. “We feel like we shouldn’t have gotten
down 3-1. We feel like just as they won three games in a row, we can win
three games in a row.” Point guard Deron Williams has put together
three consecutive double-doubles after struggling in Games 2 and 3.
Williams is averaging 20 points and 8.7 assists in the series. Shooting
guard Joe Johnson is averaging 16.3 points despite playing with a
painful foot injury.
* Bulls are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games.
* The over is 6-1 in Bulls last seven on one days rest.
* Over is 4-1 in Nets' last five home games.
* Over is 19-7 in Nets' last 26 overall.
1. The Bulls are 0-6 when playing a Game 7 on the road while Brooklyn has never overcome a 3-1 playoff series deficit.
2. Nets F Reggie Evans had 15 rebounds in Game 6 and is averaging 12.2 boards in the series.
3. Chicago F Jimmy Butler played all 48 minutes in Game 6 and is averaging 17 points over the last three games.