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Deron Williams Gets Another Chance To Make A Statement As Nets Arrive At Game 7

Posted by Craig Parsons on 5/3/2013 10:21:58 PM

Deron Williams didn’t really play all that well in an elimination game against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night. Yet, his teammates helped him and the Brooklyn Nets to stay alive.

Eastern Conference First Round, Game 7:

Chicago Bulls @ Brooklyn Nets – Saturday, May 4

Betting line: Brooklyn -6.5

Why Chicago Will Win

Inonline poker games, luck is needed to win. In this series, the Bulls have had very little in the way of good luck and a ton of bad luck. Yet, they’re still here in a Game 7, which is pretty remarkable when you think about it. Online sports bettingexpertshave to admit that for all of its physical limitations, Chicago has nevertheless managed to outplay the Nets over the course of six games. The Nets are healthy, and the Bulls have still been able to split six games while stealing Game 4 and barely losing Game 6.

Let’s explain just how much the Bulls have been blitzed by injuries and misfortune in this series. Chicago was missing two key defenders, Luol Deng (illness) and Kirk Hinrich (injury), in Game 6 on Thursday night. Hinrich helped lock down Deron Williams in the crucial stages of Game 4 a week ago, and Deng – though not as prolific a scorer as he used to be – is still a long-armed wing defender who gets into passing lanes and makes it tougher for opponents to score. The Bulls lacked these two players plus Derrick Rose.

They also took the court in Game 6 with a banged-up version of Joakim Noah, who can’t leap as well as he’d like to. (This is why Deron Williams beat him on a jump ball in the final seconds, preserving Brooklyn’s win.) Chicago’s Nate Robinson – the hero of Game 4 – also came down with the flu and was simply not able to play with the energy he wants to display on the court. The Bulls faced all of these deficiencies and still managed to push the Nets to the limit, losing by only three points.

Think about it – if Chicago can get just a little healthier in time for Game 7, its odds will improve considerably. If Deng can take the court and provide 15 quality minutes, while Robinson shrugs off the flu and plays with 20 percent more energy, that could be enough for the Bulls. The Nets frankly should have won this series by now, given their lack of health problems. Chicago might have lost the last two games of the series, giving Brooklyn a sense of confidence for Game 7, but this is really a situation in which Chicago should feel quite optimistic if it can get just a little production from players who weren’t able to give it a go in Game 6.

Why Brooklyn Will Win

Even the ranks of football bettingstudents who simply can’t be bothered to do much of any analysis on the NBA would say that the roof could cave in on an exhausted and shorthanded Chicago team in Game 7. Brooklyn wobbled in Game 6 on Thursday, much as it stumbled at the end of Game 4 in Chicago a week ago. However, unlike Game 4, the Nets were able to win Game 6 and make it back to the Barclays Center for this decisive seventh game in the first round. The experience of surviving an elimination game on the road should enable the Nets to breathe more easily.

They have so many players on their roster who are immensely talented but have found playoff success to be elusive. This could be the game in which Deron Williams – who struggled in Game 6 – busts out and smokes Chicago’s injured backcourt. This could be the game in which Joe Johnson, a megabucks acquisition, plays in accordance with the salary he’s been paid by team owner Mikhail Prokhorov. This could be the game in which Brooklyn flexes its muscles and blows the doors off the Bulls, much as it did in Game 1 of this series.

It’s true that Chicago has done more with less through the first six games of the series. It’s true that Brooklyn did not look impressive, even in victory, in Game 6. It’s true that the Nets are feeling so much pressure at the moment. However, Chicago’s lingering battle with injuries means that the Bulls are going to find it hard to establish a rhythm and get the best possible performances from their roster. You will see Chicago play with a maximum of effort in Game 7, but effort is not the same as efficiency, accuracy or athleticism. Brooklyn should be able to run its offense better than Chicago. The Nets should be able to shoot better than the Bulls. They should be able to jump higher and run faster. They should win this contest.

Who Will Win

The health and wellness of the two teams might point to a Brooklyn blowout, but Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau – who gets so much out of his players – is simply not going to let that happen. Chicago maxes out more than any other team in the league and is so good at playing through limitations to its roster. The Bulls are going to play tenacious defense and keep this contest close until the final horn, win or lose. Six and a half points? That’s way too big a line. The Nets are not going to cover it, even if they advance to the second round of the playoffs.

NBA Betting Pick: Chicago

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