So much for the drama and intrigue of a Sunday full of Game Sevens… instead of as many as five do-or-die games this weekend, we will have just one; the Bulls and the Nets today, as all four teams closed out their series last night. Not only did all four series conclude last night, three of the four teams did so on the road; New York, Indiana and Oklahoma City.
While some drama was eliminated from the weekend, we will at least have the second-round series with the best matchups and all the heavyweight favorites still left in the draw. So let’s take a quick look at the lone NBA game remaining in the first round.
Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets -6.5 (Total: 181.5)
Do the walking wounded of Chicago have one last Walking Dead apocalyptic-like zombie walk left in them? Derek Rose, as he has been all year, is out. Now add Kirk Heinrich, who had been absolutely brilliant defensively this series, to the list of those “not playing.” Joakim Noah is playing with Plantar Fasciitis. Luol Deng had a SPINAL TAP to address MENINGITIS.
I’m not making the last one up. Holy (bleep) do you have any idea how insanely painful that is??? It makes a teary-eyed Nate Robinson vomiting on the bench during timeouts seem downright cuddly. To say this team is “beat up” is a tragic understatement. This team is decimated.
Yet the funny thing about the Bulls is that they continue to fight. And fight. And fight. Like the band of Walking Dead they are, it takes more than a few bullets to put them down.
However, I think they might finally be running out of capable bodies. Despite not playing like it, The Brooklyn Nets are a more talented team than the Bulls (without Rose). They have advantages at four of the five starting positions on the floor, and are about a push in terms of bench. And that is assuming both teams are healthy.
With the injuries, illnesses, short roster, lack of point guard defensive depth and the fact it is a Game Seven on the road, I don’t see any way Chicago can win this game. It is fun to romanticize the heart of this team and the gritty nature of the Bulls embodying the City – but there are limits. This team has already exceeded them.
Give me the Nets to cruise to a double digit victory at the Barclays Center tomorrow night, and finally, FINALLY, put the Bulls down.
Free Pick: Brooklyn Nets -6.5