The Brooklyn Game offers our predictions on the first round.
Justin DeFeo: Nets in 6.
Andrew Gnerre: Nets in 6. They have the two best players in the series (thanks to injuries, but who cares) and home court advantage. As long as P.J. can stay standing against Thibs’ body blows and Derrick Rose stays away, the Nets should be fine. (*gulp*)
Devin Kharpertian: Nets in 7, if only because Joakim Noah is not 100% and the Bulls’ defense runs on him. Carlos Boozer isn’t going to hit fadeaway midrange jumpers for seven games. Plus, a Game 7 in Brooklyn has the potential to be BONKERS.
Benjamin Nadeau: If Noah and Gibson were totally healthy, I’d lean towards Bulls in 7. Alas, their minutes will be severely limited and Noah might not play at all. Lopez and Blatche will have their way with Nazr Mohammed. Deng and Butler play incredible defense on Brooklyn’s Backcourt, but it’s not enough to keep the Nets from winning. Poised with a tough, veteran bench, the Nets’ second unit will help protect any Net leads. Look for Gerald Wallace to break out of his two-month slump in a big way– through blocks, steals or throwing his body on the floor/crowd/people, Crash will have a significant impact. Joe Johnson hits at least one game-winning shot, book it.
Nets win in 6. Chicago just doesn’t have the firepower to keep up with Brooklyn anymore. Bulls’ grind-it-out style will keep most games close and exciting, but they hardly have a closer anymore– Nate Robinson does not count. If Boozer gets into any quick foul trouble, the Bulls’ ship will sink fast.
William Rausch: Nets in 7… Or 6… I think. Obviously Derrick Rose’s enigmatic, potential return looms over any prediction for this series. But even if he does suit up, it is hard to imagine that a guy who hasn’t played since LAST year’s playoffs will outplay All-Platelet-rich Plasma 1st team point guard Deron Williams.
D-Will’s much talked about resurgence and the FREE Brooklyn Blackout T-shirts are the difference in this tightly contested, evenly matched series. Plus, I am pretty sure there is stipulation in Joe Johnson’s contract that states that he loses in the second round, unless the first round opponent is Boston. Since the Celtics will be too busy knocking the Knicks out of the playoffs, Johnson and the Nets move on to lose to the Heat in the second round.
Max Weisberg: I’m gonna go with Nets in 7. I think the Blatche-Lopez combo in Game 7 at home gets it done.