NBA Picks: Bulls vs. Nets

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 1:14 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 1:14 PM GMT

Which one of these teams will rise to the occasion in front of a national audience on Christmas Day in the 1st of 5 games on Christmas Day.

When schedule makers set the Chicago Bulls (10-16) vs. Brooklyn Nets (9-18) on Christmas Day, they had no idea that the Nets would be the biggest disappointment in the NBA of this season with their inability to gel and they didn’t know that the Bulls would be without Derrick Rose for yet another year due to injury.

Tip-off is scheduled for Noon EST on Christmas Day at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. This game can be seen on ESPN.

Odds are currently unavailable for this game, but one can only assume that the NBA odds will be close to even. The Nets are without their centerpiece, Brook Lopez and are coming off of a 103-86 loss in which Paul Pierce was thrown out of the game for a flagrant foul.

Although better than the Nets, the Bulls have been unable to replace Derrick Rose and for the players that they currently possess, are also a disappointment at just 10-16.

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“Tis the Season To Be Jolly”?

If you’re Jason Kidd, tis the season to pray that you’re going to hold onto your job.  Kidd was a field general on the court, but as an NBA coach, he’s been a flop. He’s already dismissed Lawrence Frank to off the court duty and although he’s been without Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry for most of the season, Kidd has proven to have an inability to lead this team. The question being is Kidd the problem or is it the players fault?

Many years back, the Los Angeles Lakers tried to stockpile aging stars like Karl Malone and Gary Payton and it didn’t work. It appears that the addition of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry is also an experiment that went bad. Garnett still has ability; he simply doesn’t know his place on this basketball team. That said, with Lopez out, Garnett will see more playing time and we might see the KG that we saw in Beantown.

As for Paul Pierce, he’s still the same player, but had played his entire career in Boston and is quickly finding out that he’s not the go to guy in Brooklyn and has had a problem adjusting to the change. Kidd actually has Pierce coming off of the bench and nobody could’ve expected that.

In the experiment gone wrong, Pierce is averaging 12.6 points per game on just 40% shooting from the field while KG is averaging 6.7 points and 5.9 rebounds in just 22 minutes per game. Who could’ve predicted this? People thought that this team was going to the finals, but instead, they’ll be lucky to finish with 35 wins and that’s being generous.

No Rose, No Championship

Derrick Rose quickly started the season like the old Rose, but as time went on, it was apparent that he needed time to return to his old form. Now, it’s another season wasted as Rose will need yet another surgery and the Bulls core of Noah, Deng, and Boozer will all be a year older.

Deng To the Rescue

Surprisingly, Luol Deng has taken the leading role for this squad. Deng is having his best season of his career at 19.6 points, 7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. Although these are good numbers and Deng should be happy with his play, it hasn’t equated into wins. Joakim Noah isn’t a pure scorer and Carlos Boozer is an inconsistent player that fades out towards the end of ball games.

What To Expect

With all of this said, this should be a tight ball game. The Nets have been a disaster, but look for their home crowd to energize them on this festive day. I really expect Kevin Garnett’s production to go up now that he’s the starting center for Brooklyn.

The Bulls are the team coming into this game with a bit of momentum after a 100-84 victory over Cleveland. Carlos Boozer led the way with 19 points while Joakim Noah grabbed 18 rebounds. Even with their lackluster play, expect the Nets to come out on the winning end at the Barclay’s Center and not disappoint the fans on Christmas Day. Take Brooklyn for your free NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Brooklyn -ML

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