|Eastern Conference - Round 1 - Best of 7 - Game 3 - Series tied at 1-1|
|Last 5 Games||3-2||-1||2-3||3-2||96.8||49.6||45.2%||48.0||94.4||47.4||47.9%||52.2|
|Team Stats (All Games)||96.8||50.3||36-80||45.0%||8-21||35.5%||17-24||73.4%||51||13||20||18||7||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||97.9||49.3||37-82||45.2%||7-20||35.7%||17-22||75.2%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||96.2||48.4||36-80||44.8%||8-22||35.2%||17-23||74.1%||51||12||21||18||7||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||95.0||47.8||37-81||46.4%||6-17||36.5%||14-19||72.8%||47||11||21||21||7||13||5|
|vs opponents averaging||97.4||49||37-82||45.1%||7-20||35.8%||16-22||75.2%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||95.2||48.0||38-80||47.0%||6-17||35.3%||14-19||71.0%||48||10||22||21||7||13||5|
|Last 5 Games||3-2||+1.8||2-3||3-2||93.8||47.4||46.6%||49.2||93.8||49.2||45.1%||48.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||93.1||46.8||36-82||43.8%||5-15||35.1%||16-21||76.9%||52||12||23||20||7||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||97.9||49.4||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.2%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||92.9||46.3||35-82||43.2%||6-15||37.2%||17-22||76.8%||53||13||23||19||7||14||6|
|Stats Against (All Games)||92.9||46.1||35-80||44.3%||6-16||34.4%||16-22||74.2%||49||11||19||20||7||13||6|
|vs opponents averaging||97.7||49.3||37-82||45.2%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.0%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||90.9||45.7||35-81||43.2%||5-15||33.9%||16-21||75.4%||50||11||18||20||8||13||6|
|Average power rating of opponents played: BROOKLYN 95.1, CHICAGO 95.5|
|3/23/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||95-101||L||8||W||190||O||34-74||45.9%||42||15||37-79||46.8%||52||15|
|4/25/2013||@ CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/27/2013||@ CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/29/2013||CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/25/2013||BROOKLYN|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/27/2013||BROOKLYN|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/29/2013||@ BROOKLYN|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|BROOKLYN: GUARDS: DERON WILLIAMS is healthy and got a much-improved supporting cast to work with. He could re-enter the NBA's best point guard discussion . . . JOE JOHNSON won't have the ballin his hands as much as he used to in Atlanta. It might give him a chance to concentrate on regaining his stroke as one of the NBA's best shooters . . . MARSHON BROOKS will look to settle in as a high-scoring sixth man. He'll be trade bait for most of the season . . . After a disastrous year in Chicago, C.J. WATSON will be asked to spell Williams for a few minutes a night . . . KEITH BOGANS is still kicking around as a second unit glue guy . . . TYSHAWN TAYLOR is an at-times out-of-control combo guard, but the rookie could threaten Watson's role at some point. FORWARDS: KRIS HUMPHRIES' contract was structured to make him easier to trade. He'll rebound and get his put-backs, and the Nets will likely showcase him a bit . . . GERALD WALLACE is slowing down, and now that he's signed his last big NBA contract he might not have much incentive to live up to his 'Crash' nickname. Brooklyn has no choice but to give him heavy minutes considering their investment . . . MIRZA TELETOVIC is a veteran stretch four. Consider him a penniless man's Channing Frye . . . TORNIKE SHENGELIA played himself into a roster spot this summer. He's a mediocre athlete, but a cagey scorer with a high basketball IQ . . . JOSH CHILDRESS and JERRY STACKHOUSE were added in September for depth . . . REGGIE EVANS will flop unconvincingly, punch opponents in the jewels and bring other 'tough guy' intangibles. CENTERS: BROOK LOPEZ had been remarkably durable before last year's foot injury, and he should be fully healed by the start of training camp. He's gifted offensively, but will continue to grab relatively few rebounds and generally get fried defensively. He's also a candidate to be traded midseason if another franchise can stomach his max contract . . . As insurance, former Wizards big man ANDRAY BLATCHE was brought in. He could be the team's best interior defender, able to play either the four or five spot.|
|CHICAGO: GUARDS: The best guess on DERRICK ROSE is a February return. But an ACL injury usually isn't 100 percent until the second full year back . . . With Rose out, KIRK HINRICH figures to play heavy minutes early. He's a defensive specialist who will pass and watch on offense . . . NATE ROBINSON could push Hinrich for minutes. He's the offensive half of that platoon, but Thibodeau almost always leans defense . . . RICHARD HAMILTON will carry a bigger offensive load while Rose is recovering. He's a shadow of his former self . . . MARCO BELINELLI is a nice addition. He's solid defensively, and he brings the long-range shooting Chicago lacks. Don't be surprised if he pushes Hamilton . . . Rookie MARQUIS TEAGUE will mostly sit and watch this year. FORWARDS: After avoiding wrist surgery, LUOL DENG should be Chicago's top scorer while Rose is out. He's the only one on this team who even has a chance to generate his own offense . . . CARLOS BOOZER continues to be a major disappointment. In the past it's been his atrocious defense, but now he's taken a step back offensively as well. He may score more with Rose out, but he'll continue to sit late in close games . . . TAJ GIBSON should be in for a bigger role. With Omer Asik gone, he's one of only two defensively capable bigs on this roster . . . VLADIMIR RADMANOVIC will try to replace some of the three-point shooting they lost when Kyle Korver left . . . JIMMY BUTLER has a puncher's chance at a rotation spot after a good summer. CENTERS: JOAKIM NOAH was still working his way back from that badly sprained ankle this summer. His durability is questionable, but the Bulls will have to lean on Noah for more minutes now that Omer Asik is gone . . . NAZR MOHAMMED steps into Asik's role as Noah's backup. But while Asik was an active defender, Mohammed is more of just a big body with six fouls to give.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (BROOKLYN-CHICAGO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates with quotes, details. With AP Photos.)
*Nets-Bulls Preview* ====================
By ANDREW SELIGMAN AP Sports Writer
Brooklyn At Chicago, Game Three, 8:30 p.m. EDT
DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Joakim Noah feels like he's running on needles and Joe Johnson can probably sympathize.
The Bulls and Nets resume their first-round series in Chicago on Thursday after splitting the first two games in Brooklyn, and both teams have key players battling a similar injury.
Noah remains hobbled by plantar fasciitis in his right foot, and Johnson is dealing with it in his left one. He sat out practice on Wednesday and is a game-time decision, meaning the Nets could be without one of their top scorers.
"We have a lot of guys we can lean on," Brook Lopez said. "We have to obviously worry about playing better defense, playing with better energy and tenacity. I think a lot will depend on how our frontcourt reacts to what they're throwing at us."
Some of that might hinge on just how much Noah can contribute for the Bulls.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said the Bulls' center participated in most of Wednesday's practice and there were no setbacks after playing about 25 minutes in Game 2 on Monday.
Noah provided a big spark in that one with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and the Bulls pulled even in the series. Thibodeau indicated he will remain on a minutes limit after playing about 14 in each of the previous three games.
Noah's still trying to work his way back after missing time down the stretch with an injury that had given him trouble in the past and cropped up again around midseason.
"It feels like you have needles underneath your foot while you're playing," Noah said. "You can imagine. You need to jump. You need to run. You need to do a lot of things while you're playing basketball. You don't want needles on your feet, right?"
It's not exactly an unfamiliar feeling for Noah, given his history. The most recent bouts with the injury have caused him to miss 15 games since the start of February.
He sat out eight straight late in the regular season before playing against Detroit on April 7. He then missed the next four and got in about 14 minutes in the final two regular-season games.
His status for this series was in question after he acknowledged last week that he was in pain, and the way he struggled in Game 1, it didn't look like he would be able to contribute much. But there he was in Game 2, playing a key role as the Bulls shook off an ugly loss to tie the series.
"It's not time to exhale right now," Noah said. "I think that we've dealt with adversity very well this year. Every time we got hit with a punch, we always responded pretty well."
The biggest blow came late in Game 1 of the playoffs last year. They lost Derrick Rose to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the left knee and wound up bowing out to Philadelphia in the first round after capturing the No. 1 seed.
He hasn't played since then, and his status has been a running soap opera this season.
While their superstar's been recovering, the Bulls have seen just about every key part of their rotation get banged up at some point, yet they're still standing.
Now, they have a chance to grab the lead after seizing homecourt advantage in this series, and even though they're still dealing with a dinged-up Noah, Brooklyn isn't completely healthy, either.
The Bulls aren't buying into the idea that Johnson will sit out, though.
Thibodeau basically rolled his eyes and said, "Oh, he'll play, don't worry."
And Chicago's Jimmy Butler added: "I'm sure he'll rest up and be ready."
Whether Johnson plays or not, the Nets can't afford to let the Bulls dictate the tempo and seal Williams out of the lane the way they did on Monday.
Brooklyn shot about 35 percent in the game and was 4 of 21 on 3-pointers. Williams was particularly bad, hitting just 1 of 9 shots and missing all five from long range while scoring just eight after pouring in 22 in the series opener.
But the Nets have played well on the road, going 23-18, and Chicago had more losses at home than any other playoff team, with a 24-17 record at the United Center.
"We've been through our ups and downs to get this far," Johnson said. "We can't let anything stop us. We're a poised team on the road, so now we have to go out on the road and get one. It's definitely going to be a challenge, but we'll be prepared for it. We missed a shots that we normally make Monday night. As I was watching the tapes, I noticed that the shots didn't go down like they normally do. Now we have to keep shooting regardless. I'm sure we'll bounce back and play well."
|Last Updated: 12/19/2014 11:49:24 AM EST|