In the 2012-2013 NBA regular season, the Chicago Bulls were one of the best defensive teams in the league. That, however, might have been impossible to tell by just watching Game One of their first round playoff series.
On Saturday night, Chicago was handed a 106-89 loss by the Brooklyn Nets. The Bulls were competitive for only a short portion of the game, falling behind by 25 points at halftime.
On Monday, the club looks to make up for their poor performance, as they take on the Nets in Game Two. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET in Brooklyn. The game will air on TNT, but viewers can watch a free live stream online with TNT Overtime.
Chicago may have an uphill battle, facing a Nets team that is playing its best basketball at the most opportune time. Brooklyn won six of its final seven to close out the regular season recording at least 100 points in each win. The Bulls got the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference by holding its opponents to less than 93 points per game, and could have trouble if they are forced to try and out score their opponent.
Brooklyn also has its best players at close to 100 percent, while Chicago is struggling to keep its top stars healthy. Joakim Noah started against the Nets, but seemed to be affected by his right foot injury. Derrick Rose remains out and isn’t expected to return in the playoffs.
Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson were very efficient from the field on Saturday. The three players made 23 of their combined 43 shot attempts.
In order to even up the series at 1-1, the Bulls will have to make some adjustments to match one of the hottest teams in the playoffs.
"The thing is, we're disappointed," said Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau. “We played poorly and we have to change the mentality. We have to correct the mistakes. Brooklyn's a terrific team. They've been playing great down the stretch, they have good momentum going into the playoffs, they're going to challenge you and we have to be ready to respond."
Despite the big victory, Brooklyn knows Chicago is a dangerous team.
"I think it's going to be, it'll be a war," said Nets head coach P.J. Carlesimo. "We got one game, which I'm not making light of at all. It's extremely significant, but we've got to find a way to get three more and I think each game will be different.
Brooklyn is expected to take a 2-0 series lead. The betting odds at most Las Vegas casinos have them favored by five points.
Prediction: Brooklyn 99, Chicago 90