Bulls vs. Nets: Shorthanded Chicago faces Brooklyn rebounding machine Reggie Evans

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets host the injury-plagued Chicago Bulls, who will be without five players and thus susceptible to rebounding machine Reggie Evans.

The Chicago Bulls aren't only missing Derrick Rose. Tom Thibodeau's team will likely be without four other rotation players as it heads to the Barclays Center to face a Brooklyn Nets team that is also fighting for its playoff slot.

Joakim Noah, Marco Belinelli, Taj Gibson and Rip Hamilton will be out for Chicago when it faces the Eastern Conference's fourth-place team.

Unlike the Bulls, the Nets will likely receive a boost on the injury front. Shooting guard Joe Johnson is probable to play against Chicago, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. Johnson missed the last five games of Brooklyn's eight-game road swing because of a problematic heel, but the second game of another back-to-back should allow for his return.

Gerald Wallace should also be back, meaning the Nets have the cushy issue of finding rotation time for MarShon Brooks. Though he didn't take the greatest advantage of his increased minutes while Johnson was out, the second-year guard scored 27 points after hitting his first 10 shots in Brooklyn's last game.

After losing two games to Denver and Utah, the Nets finished off their road trip by drilling the Cleveland Cavaliers, 113-95, on their way back to the East Coast.

Limping along and still in sixth place in their conference, the Bulls have ridden on the backs of, as usual, their staunch defense and also the offensive production of Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson.

Boozer is putting up 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while shooting 54.7 percent from the field, and Robinson has been a presence off the bench since the return of Kirk Hinrich from his foot injury seven games ago. Robinson is averaging 18.4 points and 5.6 assists per game in his last 10 contests.

Reggie in the paint

Maybe the biggest worry for the Bulls comes in the paint. In three games against Chicago this season, Brooklyn center Brook Lopez is averaging 20 points per game.

But alongside Lopez, rebounding machine Reggie Evans could cause problems for the shorthanded Bulls, who outside of Boozer only have 35-year-old center Nazr Mohammed holding down the interior. Boozer will need to contain Evans, the fierce and energetic power forward who has recorded double-digit rebounding games in his last 11 outings.

How ridiculous has Evans' rebounding been of late?

He's had four 20-plus rebounding games since the beginning of March and is averaging 17 per night. Considering minutes, his statistics are more dominant. Since the beginning of March, Evans has pulled down 251 total boards in 448 minutes. That's 11 more rebounds than Dwight Howard, whose second-highest total over that span came in 162 more minutes of court time.

Time: 7 p.m. ET


Odds: Brooklyn opened as five-point favorites.

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