The Bulls were shellacked tonight to open the playoffs: down 25 at the half, and 28 into the 4th quarter as the Brooklyn Nets decimated the Bulls defense for pretty much the whole night. The 4th quarter was pretty perfunctory though the typical Nate Robinson flurry did force the Nets stars back into the game late, they more than held on as they wound up with a 106-89 series opening win.
Joakim Noah was a late announcement to start, but only lasted 6 minutes into each half, and his plantar fasciitis looked to really flare up after dunking to start the 3rd quarter. And the Bulls had another injury to add, as Kirk Hinrich left the game in the 3rd quarter with a thigh bruise.
So they were terrible, as was Luol Deng, and pretty much everyone. Only Carlos Boozer had a usefully good night, scoring 25 points and keeping up what has been a good matchup for him all year.
But the rest was very little like the regular season matchups. The rejuvenation of Deron Williams certainly looked real, as he was deadly in creating offense for both himself and his main beneficiary Brook Lopez. They looked a class above the Bulls tonight, and something will need to drastically change for the Bulls to make it a series. Luckily it is indeed a series, so one game doesn't tell a complete story.
Full recap later, here we can lick our wounds.