NBA playoff schedule 2013, Nets vs. Bulls: New-era Nets host Chicago in Brooklyn

USA TODAY Sports

The Nets open their first postseason run in Brooklyn by holding home-court advantage over the Chicago Bulls.

It's hard to say the Chicago Bulls have gotten caught up in the non-return of point guard Derrick Rose. While outsiders have watched Rose's every move and thrown out every theory as to why he hasn't returned, the Bulls have continued about their business to a five seed in the 2013 NBA playoffs.

It's good enough to earn them a favorable matchup with the Brooklyn Nets. While the Nets get the home-court advantage in their first-round series against Chicago, they only beat the Bulls once in four regular-season meetings. A quick review of those games lends evidence that the Nets succumbed to Chicago's obvious identity. Tom Thibodeau has made his team an Eastern Conference contender by doing what he's always done -- teaching defense.

Chicago, through various other injuries on top of Rose's absence, has the seventh-best defensive rating in the NBA, according to Basketball-Reference.com. And in the meetings with the Nets this year, the Bulls have allowed just 87.5 points per game, which is nine points per game fewer than Brooklyn's season average.

Should that continue into the postseason, the Nets could be in trouble.

Chicago, however, would like to be healthy. If Joakim Noah (foot) is able to contribute regularly is one major issue that will greatly alter his team's defensive effectiveness. Of course, a surprise return from Rose -- as unlikely as that may be -- would be a shot in the arm for the Bulls.

Brooklyn, meanwhile, must quickly find out what they are. With Deron Williams and Joe Johnson playing better after the All-Star break, the Nets are a talented enough offensive team, coming in at an eighth-ranked 108.3 points per 100 possessions, according to Basketball-Reference.com. But P.J. Carlesimo's squad also played with the third-slowest pace in the NBA as if they do so to help out a promising defense.

The problem is that the defense isn't more than average. Though it doesn't need to be against a Bulls team without any true go-to options -- Nate Robinson would beg to differ -- the statistics show Brooklyn hasn't established a firm identity. A relatively fresh roster with a relatively fresh coaching perspective after Avery Johnson was let go midseason are causes for that.

Still, Chicago is vulnerable, and as any 4-5 seeded contest should be, the Bulls and Nets provide one of the bigger toss-ups as far as postseason matchups go in 2013.

Game 1

Time: 8 p.m. ET Sat., April 20

TV, streaming info: ESPN

Game 2

Time: 8 p.m. ET Mon. April 22

TV, streaming info: TNT

Game 3

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET Thurs., April 25

TV, streaming info: NBA TV

Game 4

Time: 2 p.m. ET Sat., April 27

TV, streaming info: TNT

Game 5 (TBD)

Time: TBD Mon., April 29

TV, streaming info: TBD

Game 6 (TBD)

Time: TBD Thurs., May 2

TV, streaming info: TBD

Game 7 (TBD)

Time: TBD Sat., May 4

TV, streaming info: TBD


More from SB Nation:

And the NBA award winners are ...

Watch Tony Allen sing karaoke

Tjarks: What Marcus Smart's decision means

Paul Flannery: A letter from Boston

2013 NBA mock draft: An overly exuberant scout's take

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.