They've done this before, and it didn't turn out so well.
No guests tonight for our 3-on-3, so enjoy the syntactical stylings of Sandy, Justin, and myself.
UPDATE: Also no need to stop Rip Hamilton - he's out indefinitely.
1. Can D-Will outplay D-Rose this time?
- Justin DeFeo: Rose's supporting cast is better than D-Will's, especially considering the Nets injuries; therefore, Rose will be asked to do less and as a result will produce more. On the surface, Jeremy Lin made Deron Williams look like some washed-up walk-on from Dartmouth. But dig deeper and you'll notice that D-Will expended so much energy on offense and got so little help from the Nets "bigs" that he simply could not make up the difference. Rose takes the matchup, but that's more Rose praise than Williams knock.
- Sandy Dover: Oh, I think it's a favored nod that Derrick Rose will win the match-up against Deron Williams, which is not a condemnation of Williams. Rose is just hitting stride and he's healthy. Williams still has to do it all, and I think it's possible that he has a good game, but his lack of an elite team will make it hard for him to shine like Rose. In that way, Rose projects to be the victor.
- Devin Kharpertian: Possible but unlikely. The Nets need D-Will to do more than the Bulls need from Rose, and Anthony Morrow's absence means the Nets have to rely on Deron more offensively tonight than they did against New York. The Nets' frontcourt will have its hands full trying to cut off Rose's attempts in the lane. Needless to say, I don't expect that to end well.
2. Can the Nets stop Rip (22 points, 10 assists) this time around?
- Justin DeFeo: Yes, they can stop Rip. Why am I so confident? Because of Keith Bogans. Bogans spent a year playing for Tom Thibodeau's defensive system, which basically is the equivalent of a pianist interning with Beethoven. Not only that, Bogans is not shying away from the fact that he felt disrespected when released by his former team, so he'll have added motivation to stick it to the Bulls. I suspect he'll get plenty of cracks of shutting Rip down.
- Sandy Dover: Can the Nets stop Richard Hamilton? Yes. Will they stop him? I doubt it. Jordan Farmar could give Hamilton some problems or a bigger wing like Shawne Williams, but I'm not counting on He Who Wears The Facemask to be totally shut out of making a difference. It's likely that Hamilton will be a contributing factor, but I can't say whether he'll go for 22 and 10 again. Those days aren't particularly guaranteed with him anymore.
- Devin Kharpertian: They have to. Derrick Rose is a whirling dervish unto himself, but Rip Hamilton has quickly become his steady sidekick. The Nets have one legitimate hope: that Keith Bogans' smart, strong play against Carmelo Anthony Saturday night is a sign rather than an aberration.
3. And the winner is...
- Sandy Dover: Chicago. The Bulls are one of the elite teams in the league and Rose is a devastating force of a basketball player. I don't have a lot of hope for the Nets, but if New Jersey is able to play great team defense and knock down shots, it's very possible for the Nets to win; but great team defense and knocking down shots aren't what the Nets are known for today.
- Justin DeFeo: Chicago. The Nets play with eight players and winning is a cute story for one night, but this isn't Detroit. At a certain point you'll need bullets in the chamber to pierce the armor of Chicago's D and the Nets simply don't have that.
- Devin Kharpertian: Chicago. Can you really believe anything else at this point? The Nets are at home, but their home woes are well-documented at this point and Chicago's 11-5 on the road. Chicago's facing some minor injuries, and the Nets are down half their roster. See you Wednesday.