NBA Brooklyn NetsChicago Bulls

5 Predictions for the Nets vs. Bulls Christmas Day Showdown

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5 Predictions For Nets vs. Bulls

Debby Wong – USA TODAY Sports

Usually the NBA leaves great games for Christmas and before the start of the season, this one had the makings of a great matchup written all over it.

The Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets were two teams that were widely expected to contend for the Eastern Conference crown and maybe challenge the Miami Heat for a place in the Finals. After all, the Bulls were getting Derrick Rose back – who was supposedly at 100 percent after sitting out last year – and the Nets had a star-studded starting five that shouldn’t have had any issue being a top team in the East.

Fast forward to now and out of those things, none has become reality. Sure, the Bulls did get Rose back, but the star guard was re-injured and will be sidelined for the rest of the year once again. The team has struggled to find any kind of rhythm on both ends of the court and they are currently out of the playoff race even when the Eastern Conference has been historically bad.

The Nets, on the other hand, haven’t had Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko healthy all season long. Kevin Garnett hasn’t produced as expected, Paul Pierce is being better suited on a bench role and all things considered, the Nets are also on the outside of a playoff picture that currently includes teams like the Charlotte Bobcats making the postseason.

The Christmas showdown between these two teams surely won’t be what many expected, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a fun game. After all, the two teams are incredibly talented and we could end up seeing a great spectacle as both teams will look to get a boost to get out of their struggling form.

Without further ado, please join me through this slideshow as we check five bold predictions of what could happen in the Christmas Showdown between the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Joakim Noah Will Dominate the Paint

Pat Lovell - USA TODAY Sports

Joakim Noah has been one of the few bright spots for the Bulls this season and he will have a good matchup to dominate in the paint against Brook Lopez. Noah’s physicality and toughness will be too much for Lopez to handle, so if Noah gets the ball consistently, he could have a great night scoring-wise.

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4. Joe Johnson Will Thrive Offensively

Noah K. Murray - USA TODAY Sports

Joe Johnson is also in line to have a great game. With Deron Williams being the most consistent player for the Nets in the backcourt and being marked by Kirk Hinrich, he will have plenty of opportunities to spread the ball around and Johnson has had the hot hand lately. If he can continue his scoring output until Christmas, Johnson might end up being the difference-maker.

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3. The Game Will Be Close

Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports

Since both sides are very even, this game is all but set to be very close. Neither team has been dominating lately and the fact that both sides have struggled could also be a factor.

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2. Lots Of Defensive Mistakes

Pat Lovell - USA TODAY Sports

Despite having very good teams defensively on paper, expect a lot of defensive mistakes in this contest. The urgency of winning on Christmas Day to end a struggling start to the season could be too much pressure for the players and coaches, so we could end up seeing a few defensive mistakes from time to time.

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1. Brooklyn Will Come Out On Top

Kelley L. Cox – USA TODAY Sports

In the end, the experience of the Nets will be too much for the Bulls and they will come out on top of this game. The presence of guys like Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams will give the Nets an upper hand in the contest and if it remains close until the final minutes, expect Brooklyn to execute better to grab a much-needed win.