Brooklyn is 0-4 in the Bulls’ building this season, with two losses coming during the regular season and the other two coming in the playoffs.
Yet, the Nets seem like a confident bunch heading into action tonight. Andray Blatche and Gerald Wallace both said the Nets are the better team. Wallace said the Nets would need to play 48 minutes of defense in order to get the win in Game 6.
Despite being down 3-2 and losing both games so far in Chicago in the series, these players may have a point.
C.J. Watson had an open look to tie Game 3 after the Nets mounted a valiant comeback, and the team led by 14 points in Game 4 before Nate Robinson took control.
Brooklyn really had a chance to win both of those games. Now, still with their backs against the wall, each game is do-or-die.
The Nets have been called “gutless” and “heartless” in the series, but that wasn’t the case in Monday night’s Game 5 victory. Wallace, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams all had big games and will need to do so tonight.
Basically tonight’s game will come down to which team is healthy enough to play a complete game, with the Nets slighty having the upper hand.
Kirk Hinrich has not been officially ruled out, but after still walking gingerly on an injured calf and not practicing all week, it’s unlikely he suits up for this game.
Luol Deng (hip) and Taj Gibson (knees) are dealing with injury, but they were each held out of practice Wednesday with severe colds of all things. Joakim Noah has been slowed by plantar fasciitis.
For the Nets, Joe Johnson is also dealing with plantar fasciitis, and he said he wouldn’t suit up if this had been a regular season game. But this is the playoffs, so Johnson will be in there contributing as much as he can.
Lopez hurt his ankle in Game 5, and Blatche said his sore right calf is 90 percent. Reggie Evans didn’t practice Wednesday dealing with illness. These injuries shouldn’t be much cause for concern.
It will take a gutsy performance for whichever team wins this game, but one thing is certain: The Nets are still not ready to go home.
Game time is 8 p.m. (EST) and will be televised on TNT and the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.