Chicago won three of its four regular season meetings with Brooklyn. The Bulls' lone loss (Feb.1) came without starters Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Kirk Hinrich and, of course, franchise point guard Derrick Rose.
Rose, who hasn't suited up since tearing his ACL a year ago, is medically cleared to play. Yet, it’s highly unlikely that the former MVP returns to the hardwood this season.
The Bulls have a shot of getting past Brooklyn even without the services of D-Rose. The Tom Thibodeau-coached squad plays hard-nosed defense on a nightly basis, which is why they’ve overachieved dramatically this season with a boatload of injuries.
In order to advance, Chicago’s gritty D must continue, as they attempt to contain the Nets’ Big Three of Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson.
This should prove to be an interesting first-round matchup. Will Luol Deng and the Bulls pull it off, or will D-Will and the gang get the job done?