The last two games before All-Star weekend should be interesting to say the least. The Thunder travel to L.A. to take on the Lakers in what should be a blow out. It could be an upset, however, depending on who on the Lakers is healthy and who shows up. The other game has some positioning implications in the Eastern Conference as the Nets play the Bulls in Chicago.
The Brooklyn Nets have been on a pretty decent roll after going 10-2 in January with their only losses coming at the hands of the Toronto Raptors. The Nets are finally overcoming their
old age injuries and starting to resemble a team. Jason Kidd is still learning on the job and I think this year will be a success if the team gets into the playoffs. In order for the Nets to get into the playoffs they need to win games and they have been doing so, but tonight’s opponent is also trying to accomplish the same goals. Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson have been playing extremely well as of late with Deron Williams still coming along slowly. The true engine of this team is now centered around Deron Williams. He will have to show up big from here on out after the All-Star break to make the Nets somewhat of a threat.
The Chicago Bulls have been playing better and are looking to gain some much needed momentum heading to the All-Star break. Joakim Noah has been playing well, adding another triple-double to his count with 19 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 assists in the win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday. The interesting part of the Bulls is what to do with Carlos Boozer during the off-season. Taj Gibson is really playing well lately, averaging 22.7 points the last three games, and he’ll be looking to get his time to shine and start for the Bulls. Boozer, though, is still a player that can make a little impact on your team. The question is will he be able to get over the 4th quarter benching and produce for the Bulls as they look to make a push towards the playoffs.
The Pick: I am going to go with the Bulls here for this one. I believe the play of Noah and Gibson will be enough and they will also have an added bouns with Boozer back from injury playing tonight. The Nets might be playing just as good as the Bulls right now but I just believe that the only way for the Nets to win is to hope the Bulls who are not a good shooting team, will miss a lot of open shots tonight.
National TV: TNT
Time: 8:00 PM EST