Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Two years ago, the Bulls reached the Eastern Conference Finals.  Derrick Rose’s major ACL injury prevented the Bulls from doing much in last year’s playoffs.  For right now, Rose remains out until he suggests otherwise.  This will be the Nets’ first shot at it with their new squad. What Brooklyn needs to do to win: If the Nets win the rebounding battle, they should win this series.  But that isn’t an easy task to accomplish against a feisty Chicago team.  Reggie Evans averages over 17 rebounds per 40 minutes.  That accounts for a ton of Brooklyn’s rebounds.  To add to that, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson need to be effective on offense.  Without Rose, the Bulls don’t have much talent to put up against these two guards.  This series is an opportunity for Williams to make a statement.  Look for D-Will to make a large impact on this series. What Chicago needs to do to win: Although Chicago is short on talent, they are capable of winning this series.  As usual, Joakim Noah will be all over the place on defense.  If the Bulls can somehow slow down Joe Johnson, they have a much better chance of winning.  Keep in mind that Joe Johnson has not had a great year.  On top of that, the Bulls do have very good perimeter defenders, in Hinrich and Butler, to agitate him.  Lastly, Chicago’s big men must thoroughly outplay the Nets’ big men.  They must be more physical and Carlos Boozer must apply himself to the max. Key Matchups: Brook Lopez vs. Joakim Noah: Noah is much, much, much more aggressive than Lopez.  Noah is always willing to bang inside while Lopez sometimes shies away from contact.  Lopez has had a fantastic year, offensively.  However, Noah absolutely knows how to get in the head of his opponent.  This matchup could be a crucial factor in the outcome of this series. Joe Johnson vs. Bulls’ perimeter defense: As I mentioned earlier, the Bulls’ perimeter defense must slow down Joe Johnson.  Johnson isn’t an impossible task by any means but he can be very difficult to stop from creating his own shot.  Jimmy Butler is an athletic defensive specialist that perfectly fits the Bulls’ style.  We will probably see him guard Johnson the majority of the time. The deal with Deron Williams: If Deron Williams is still an elite point guard in this league, the Nets win this series.  He is in a position where he needs to prove he can lead this team. Can Luol Deng match Joe Johnson’s productivity? Don’t forget about Luol Deng.  Deng is a talented player and one of the best set shooters in the league.  Deng gives the Bulls a big boost when he plays with high energy and remains consistent throughout the game. Prediction: Nets in Seven Games
PLAYERS: Luol Deng
TEAMS: Chicago Bulls

LSU fan dies at end of win over Ole Miss

Giants surge past Royals to even World Series

Mich. St. upset with Michigan over spear planted on field

TCU puts up 82 points in win over Texas Tech

Agent: Joe Maddon prepared to sit out season if need be

Report: Chandler Jones could miss rest of season


Report: Army football enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Report: Kobe viewed Dwight Howard's departure as 'positive'

Lions suspend CJ Mosley, send him home from London

Federal judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law

Report: Bucs sign Gerald McCoy to seven-year extension

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans about booing

WATCH: Kansas St. fans chant 'We own Texas!'

WATCH: Chris Fowler rips 'stupid' fans over ESPN-SEC bias

WATCH: 5-year-old fan cries over Zdeno Chara's injury

LSU knocks off No. 3 Ole Miss

Miss. St. returns onside kick for TD in win over Kentucky

Bad idea: Couple goes blackface for Ray Rice Halloween costume

WATCH: Kentucky DB Blake McClain lays out Miss. St. WR

WATCH: Dwyane Wade videobombs himself

PHOTO: Blue Jackets forward came real close to losing his eye

WATCH: 350-pound Arkansas lineman throws TD pass

Penn State fans blew air horns outside Ohio State's hotel?

WATCH: Oregon's Charles Nelson has impressive punt return TD

Bulls News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

WATCH: Fowler rips 'stupid' fans

Maddon prepared to sit out season

MSU upset with Michigan over spear

Couple in Ray Rice Blackface costume

Report: Army enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Penn State fans blew air horn at Ohio State players' hotel?

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.