|Eastern Conference - Round 1 - Best of 7 - Game 4 - CHI Leads 2-1|
|Last 5 Games||3-2||-0.2||3-2||3-2||94.6||50.0||44.1%||48.4||91.6||45.4||47.2%||51.6|
|Team Stats (All Games)||96.6||50.1||36-80||44.8%||8-21||35.4%||17-24||73.5%||51||13||20||18||7||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||97.8||49.2||37-82||45.2%||7-20||35.7%||17-22||75.2%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||95.7||48.1||35-80||44.6%||8-22||35.0%||17-23||74.4%||51||12||21||18||7||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||94.8||47.7||37-81||46.3%||6-17||36.3%||14-19||72.7%||48||11||21||21||7||13||5|
|vs opponents averaging||97.3||48.9||37-82||45.1%||7-20||35.8%||16-22||75.2%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||94.9||47.8||38-80||46.8%||6-17||34.9%||14-19||70.9%||48||10||22||21||7||13||5|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+3.8||2-3||2-3||91.0||44.8||47.7%||50.4||88.0||44.8||41.9%||47.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||92.9||46.8||36-82||43.7%||5-15||34.9%||16-21||76.8%||52||12||23||20||7||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||97.9||49.3||37-82||45.4%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.1%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||92.6||46.2||35-82||43.1%||5-15||36.8%||17-22||76.6%||53||13||23||19||7||14||6|
|Stats Against (All Games)||92.7||46.0||35-80||44.2%||6-16||34.3%||16-22||74.3%||49||11||19||20||7||13||6|
|vs opponents averaging||97.7||49.3||37-82||45.2%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||74.9%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||90.5||45.4||35-81||43.0%||5-16||33.6%||16-21||75.7%||50||11||18||20||7||13||6|
|Average power rating of opponents played: BROOKLYN 95, CHICAGO 95.4|
|3/23/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||95-101||L||8||W||190||O||34-74||45.9%||42||15||37-79||46.8%||52||15|
|4/27/2013||@ CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/29/2013||CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|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, detail. With AP Photos.)
*Nets-Bulls Preview* ====================
By ANDREW SELIGMAN AP Sports Writer
Brooklyn At Chicago, Game Four, 2:00 p.m. EDT
CHICAGO (AP) -- Deron Williams is struggling. Joe Johnson is hobbled, and the Brooklyn Nets suddenly look as if they could be headed for an early playoff exit.
They trail the Chicago Bulls 2-1 after back-to-back losses and will fall into a really big hole in this best-of-seven series if they lose Game 4 on Saturday afternoon.
It's a tough spot for a team that won 49 games in its first season in Brooklyn and ended a six-year postseason drought.
The Nets answered one question by announcing a contract extension for general manager Billy King on Friday. Now they need to find their touch after shooting 35 percent the past two games.
Williams is having trouble getting to the paint. Johnson's ailing left foot is feeling "a lot better," but remains a concern. And Gerald Wallace is not sure where he fits in.
Even with all those questions, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said: "We know how good they are."
The Nets just aren't showing it at the moment, and the frustration appears to be mounting.
A slasher who prefers playing in the open court, Wallace went from 14 points in Game 1 to just two on 1-of-7 shooting, with Brooklyn unable to push the ball in a 90-82 loss on Monday night. And things were no better for him or the Nets in Game 3 on Thursday.
Wallace hit just 2 of 8 shots for five points and joined Reggie Evans on the sideline for the entire fourth quarter in a 79-76 loss, watching as C.J. Watson's 3 at the buzzer missed and a late rally came up short.
"I couldn't tell you my role now," Wallace said at the team hotel. "I don't have a clue what my role is on this team."
It was a surprising comment so late in the season, but interim coach P.J. Carlesimo basically shrugged it off and pointed the finger at himself.
"I just think we're going through a tough time right now. That's what playoffs are all about," Carlesimo said. "We're all frustrated. And we have to - I have to - do a better job constantly defining roles and redefining roles so we can perform the way we're capable."
It hasn't been easy for Williams, either.
He turned it on in the second part of the season, going on a surge that carried right through his 22-point, seven-assist performance in the series opener. But he's struggled in a big way the past two games, shooting a combined 6 of 23, with the Bulls clogging the paint.
He knows he needs to do better. He's also trying to strike a balance.
Williams knows the Bulls will continue to zero in on him, and he has to find a way to the rim. He also can't afford to force shots.
"After Game 1, they're definitely keying on me," he said. "It's tough for me as a point guard. I don't want to go out there and just shoot 20 bad shots. But pretty much every shot I'm going to take is going to be contested (with) two people around me, three people around me. I just have to find ways to be more aggressive and get to the basket, but it's tough right now."
That's where the lineup the Nets used down the stretch in Game 3 could help.
"I would think they'd probably go back to that," Chicago's Nazr Mohammed said. "Reggie and Gerald, that's huge for them, too. They contribute in different ways."
For all Wallace and Evans contribute on the glass and on defense, the Bulls can sag off them in the half court. That limits room for Williams, Johnson and center Brook Lopez.
Carlesimo considered changing the starting lineup but indicated he would keep it in place unless Johnson's plantar fasciitis keeps him out on Saturday.
Changing the rotation is another matter. Carlesimo won't hesitate to do that if the problems on offense continue.
"It's a tough balance because some of the problems that we have are not because those guys (Wallace and Evans) aren't scoring," he said. "It's because other guys aren't. If we do some of the things that we normally do - if we make some 3s or finish in the paint, then we're OK. And we can take advantage of other guys' skill sets and not just say, `To hell with it, we've got to put an offensive team out there.' That can also get you in trouble where all of a sudden we're not as good defensively. Or, we're not as good rebounding anymore."
As for Johnson, he sounded as if he will be ready.
Bulls center Joakim Noah is expected to be available, too. Thibodeau expects to keep him to about 25 minutes again in Game 4 because of the plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
"He said he feels fine," Thibodeau said. "I think he's encouraged by how he feels and was not great, but he's not having that soreness like he did previously when he played, so that's a good sign."
Johnson seemed encouraged, too, although he's not completely in the clear.
"I still have my concerns," he said.
|Last Updated: 12/18/2014 2:22:19 PM EST|