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Bulls Welcome Nets To Windy City

Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls will look for a third win over the Brooklyn Nets this season.

Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls will look for a third win over the Brooklyn Nets this season.

The Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls take to the hardwood for the final time in 2014 Tuesday as the sides meet in the Windy City.

Tip-off at United Center in Chicago is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET.

The matchup – the third of the season between the two sides – will see both sides looking to bid farewell to the calendar year in style.

The Story So Far

As predicted, Chicago (22-9, 8-5 home) has emerged as one of the dominant threats in the Eastern Conference.

While the side currently sits in fourth-place in the conference standings, the team has played better than that of late. In fact, depending on how the Atlanta Hawks (vs. Cleveland) and Washington Wizards (at Dallas) fair on Tuesday, the Bulls could be sitting in second-place this time tomorrow.

Tom Thibodeau’s side rides a seven-game winning streak into this matchup, having fended off division rivals the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. The Bulls have been dominant against the weakened Eastern Conference and have already gotten the better of Tuesday night’s opponents twice this season.

Brooklyn (14-16, 6-8 road) currently occupies seventh-place in the Eastern Conference and should be a good bet to make the playoffs this season. That being said, the lower part of the bracket could get a serious shake-up if one or two of the East’s middling sides decide to make a run of it.

The Nets have gotten the job done against lesser competition this season, but have a horrendous record against the NBA’s best sides. Lionel Hollins’ side is just 1-11 when playing sides that currently have a winning record. Compare that to the Bulls’ 14-4 record against plus-.500 teams.

The Nets have won four of their last five games, all against losing teams, and would love to close out the year with a marquee win over the Bulls. They’ll need to put together an all-around effort to do so.

Impact Players

Jimmy Butler has emerged as a star for Chicago through the first part of the season and especially of late. The guard is averaging 22.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per contest. During the Bulls’ current seven-game winning streak, he’s led the team in scoring in four contests and has combined for 60 points over the last two games.

Derrick Rose remains the motor behind the Bulls’ offense. The perennial All-Star is averaging 18 points and 4.9 assists in a reduced 28 minutes of play.

Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson are proving to be versatile offensive threats, averaging 17.9 and 12 points respectively. The two are also combining for 18 rebounds per game.

Brooklyn is relying on team effort to propel it forward. Right now, four players – Joe Johnson (16.5ppg), Derron Williams (14.7), Brook Lopez (14.1) and Jarrett Jack (10.7) – are averaging double digits in scoring, while Mirza Teletovic (9.7) and Mason Plumlee (9.2) are pushing that marker too.

The Nets could do with somebody stepping up though. Right now the team needs to string together a consistent run of results, and that means having the likes of Johnson, Williams or Lopez to fall back on.


The two sides have already met twice this season.

The Bulls picked up a 102-84 victory in Brooklyn on November 30, before dispatching the Nets 105-80 when the sides met at United Center on December 10.

After Tuesday’s game, the two clubs will meet once more this regular season, at Barclays Center on April 13.

Injury Report

Chicago is without forward Doug McDermott, out indefinitely with a knee injury. Guard Kirk Hinrich (hamstring) is listed as day-to-day.

Brooklyn has no injuries to report.

Joe Johnson and the Brooklyn Nets need to start winning against the league's best sides.

Joe Johnson and the Brooklyn Nets need to start winning against the league’s best sides.

Betting Report

Below you’ll find Betting Sports’ breakdown of odds and betting trends.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls odds for 12/30/2014

Moneyline: Playing at home, Chicago is the favorite over Brooklyn on the moneyline.

Chicago is 5-1 straight up in its last six games against Brooklyn and owns a 6-4 advantage in the last 10 head-to-head meetings.

The Bulls have won six of their last seven home games against the Nets.

Chicago is 15-4 against Eastern Conference opponents, while Brooklyn is just 9-11.

Spread: The spread opened at 11.

Neither Chicago (15-16-0 ATS) nor Brooklyn (15-15-0 ATS) has had a lot of success against the spread this season.

The Bulls are 5-8-0 ATS at home and 11-11-0 ATS when considered the favorite.

The Nets are 8-6-0 ATS on the road and 7-9-0 ATS when playing as the underdog.

Chicago is 5-1-0 ATS in its last six games with Brooklyn, and 4-2-0 ATS when hosting the Nets.

Chicago covered the spread in both head-to-head meetings earlier this season.

Total: The total opened at 197.

Both Chicago (16-13-2 O/U) and Brooklyn (12-18-0 O/U) have favored the under this season.

The total has gone under in the last five head-to-head meetings, including both matchups this season. The under has also paid out in eight of Brooklyn’s last 12 trips to the Windy City.


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