Amidst the Bulls and Lakers looking to pull off a blockbuster trade, the 2007-08 NBA season begins tonight as the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets square off. Both clubs found themselves in the Playoffs a season ago. The Bulls went down to the Pistons, while Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Nets.
Each club returns a bulk of last year’s team. Chicago returns Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon at the guard positions with Ben Wallace in the middle. Luol Deng and the newly acquired Joe Smith are slated to start at the forward positions. Key bench players will include Chris Duhon, Andres Nocioni, Tyrus Thomas, rookie Aaron Gray, and Thabo Sefolosha.
As for the Nets, Vince Carter, Jason Kidd, and Richard Jefferson are back as well as Nenad Krstic and Jason Collins. The Nets are hoping their duo from UCONN, Marcus Williams & Josh Boone, continue to make strides in their second season at this level.
The Nets have dominated the recent series between these two clubs. In fact, they come into tonight’s match-up winners in 7 of the L/10 games these teams have played. Last year saw the Nets win three of their four encounters by an average of close to 6 PPG. The lone Bulls victory came on April 6th when they pasted the Nets at the United Center by a 105-74 final margin.
The Nets opened up as 2.5-point home favorites with the ‘Total’ set at 186. Only one of their four match-ups saw the combined number go ‘Over’ this posted total. The ‘Under’ is a perfect 4-0 ATS in the Nets L/4 games against the Eastern Conference, while the ‘Under’ is 6-1 ATS in the Bulls L/7 confrontations with the Atlantic division of the Eastern Conference. The underdog is 4-1 ATS the L/5 teams these teams have met, but the Bulls are a woeful 1-8 ATS the L/9 times they’ve made the trip to the Garden state to take on the Nets.