In the playoffs, anything can happen. Confidence however, is vital.
The Chicago Bulls aren’t exactly rolling into the playoffs, having mustered just a 3-4 mark over the course of their final seven regular season games, but they have won back-to-back games as they now prepare for their first round playoff match-up with the Brooklyn Nets.
Injuries have played a vital part of the Bulls’ season thus far and with Derrick Rose still showing no signs of a return date, it’s clear that Chicago fans are focused on making a run in the postseason with the roster that they have. The good news however, is that Joakim Noah did appear in the team’s final two regular season contest, after missing 12 of the previous 13 games with a foot injury. Noah’s production will undoubtedly be important to the Bulls’ chance of success here in the playoffs, but having this team as healthy as possible is all that Chicago can lean back on.
In their first round match-up with Brooklyn however, that confidence factor should be key. Chicago boasted a 3-1 mark in four games against the Nets during the regular season, so you know that they are capable of winning. If the Bulls — who are not the home favorite in this contest — can steal one of the first two games on the road, Chicago will have the opportunity to flip the series in their favor next week.
That regular season success bodes well for the Bulls’ confidence with their first round opponent, but this series may very well come down to defense. Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau has been know for his defensive schemes and philosophies even before taking over the team just a few years back. Individual match-ups and the Bulls’ ability to limit the 17th ranked scoring offense in the NBA should not be a problem.
Tip-off for Game 1 of this first round series in scheduled for 8:00pm (EST) on Saturday in Brooklyn.
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