Chicago grit in town to face Brooklyn flash

Chicago grit in town to face Brooklyn flash
Joe Johnson, Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler & Joe Johnson got into a scuffle last time these teams played. (AP)


Brooklyn Nets


Chicago Bulls
28-29 Record 33-26
6-4 Last 10 Games 9-1
103.0 Points scored per 100 possessions 98.9
104.7 Points allowed per 100 possessions 97.8
94.1 Possessions per game 93.1
45.0% Field goal percentage 42.9%
36.1% Three-point percentage 34.4%
47.6% Rebound percentage 52.3%
15.3% Turnover percentage 16.5%
Joe Johnson (14.8) Top Scorer Carlos Boozer (14.6)

Projected starting lineup: Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler , Mike Dunleavy, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah

Last time these two teams played was just before the All-Star break, and Joe Johnson got into it a bit with Jimmy Butler in the Nets loss:

Finger-smushing aside, Tom Thibodeau’s Bulls just keep on marching. After losing Derrick Rose for a second consecutive season and then trading Luol Deng to save money, the Bulls are still somehow the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls grind out good teams and blow out terrible ones. While the Bulls offense is relatively stagnant, their defense is still phenomenal, ranking second in points allowed per 100 possessions at 97.8. Joakim Noah is their defensive fulcrum, but they also get defensive contributions from Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich, Butler, and Tony Snell, and adjusting for pace, they’re the third-best rebounding team in the NBA.

Noah is a player to watch tonight. He’s coming off a triple double performance against the New York Knicks, and crushed the Nets both this year and last year.

Bulls-Nets is a battle of an incredibly disciplined team and a bevy of All-Star talent, and Chicago normally ends on top. The Bulls expose Nets weaknesses, most notably rebounding issues, Gibson and Noah are nightmare matchups for the Nets hybrid lineups, and Jimmy Butler & Kirk Hinrich give Joe Johnson & Deron Williams fits.