If the Bulls want to maintain their momentum coming off a gutsy gritty very Bulls-style victory on Monday night, the number they have to keep in their heads is 90.
Including the regular season, the Bulls and Nets have squared off 6 times. Of those 6 games, the Bulls have won 4 of the 6. What do you two losses to the Nets have in common? In both of those games, the Nets scored over 90 points – a 93-89 victory in February and their Game 1, 106-89. In the other 4 games in which the Bulls have beaten the Nets, they have held them to 90 points or less in every one of those games, including Monday’s 90-82 win.
It is no secret that the Bulls struggle to score and have to depend on their defensive prowess to win games (they averaged a league worst 93.2 PPG in the regular season), and this series is no exception.
One other thing to note about the Nets’ two victories in this season/playoff series? Both of their wins have come at the Barclay Center. The Bulls won both games at home versus the Nets this season, and if they can continue to protect their home court for the remainder of this series, they will take this series in 6, and also fulfill my pre-playoff prediction 🙂
So, if Hinrich, Deng and Butler and continue their defensive dominance that they established in Game 2, and if the Bulls as a team can keep up the gritty style of play that has become their calling card this season, they can easily take the lead in this series. Just hold the Nets to 90. Remember the magic number.
Side Note: Joe Johnson is listed as “Game-Time decision” for Thursday with plantar fasciitis. To which I point out Joakim Noah and respond, “Wimp”.