The Chicago Bulls had pushed the Brooklyn Nets to the brink of an early 2013 NBA Playoffs exit after Game 4 in taking a commanding 3-1 series lead. With their backs against the wall, the Nets quieted the Bulls and won 110-91 in Game 5 to force tonight’s Game 6 in Chicago.
The Bulls should be treating tonight’s game as if it were Game 7 and a must-win scenario. If the Bulls did lose at home tonight, they would be looking at a real Game 7, on the road, against a team that would have rallied back from down two games and won its last home game by nearly 20 points.
The biggest enemy for the Bulls right now might be their own health. Kirk Hinrich, who was sorely missed in Game 5 with a bruised left calf, is a game-time decision to play tonight. Taj Gibson and Luol Deng are both overcoming sickness and may not be 100 percent. Joakim Noah continues to play with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. This is all on top of the Bulls being without the services of their superstar Derrick Rose.
Facing the Nets is the fact that they haven’t won a single game in Chicago this entire season including the playoffs. By dropping Game 2 at home, the Nets now have to win at Chicago in order to stay alive. Either the streak continues and the Bulls advance of its broken and we have ourselves the first Game 7 of this year’s NBA Playoffs.
If Hinrich is forced to sit again, look for Deron Williams to have a monster game. The Bulls were much more in sync with Hinrich starting and Nate Robinson coming off the bench. With Hinrich out, Williams was able to take advantage of Robinson with his speed and quickness.
Tonight’s NBA 2013 Round 1 Playoff Game 6 featuring the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls gets underway at at 8/7c in high definition on TNT. Those of you who are cable subscribers with TNT in the subscription can watch a free online live streaming version of the game here at TNT Overtime. This online version can be viewed on an iPad/tablet, mobile phone, laptop or other Internet connected device. The Bulls are beat up right now and Game 5 reflected that. I expect that to continue in Game 6 with the Nets forcing Game 7 by a 97-89 score.