There's no sense harassing those who can't play. Hinrich can barely walk, Deng's in the hospital, and you know Noah's plantar fasciitis is still there even if he says it's better. Maybe Nate Robinson won't be throwing up during timeouts this game, and perhaps the refs will give the Bulls a beneficial whistle after a series that has largely been whistled one way.
Maybe the Bulls will find a way to pull this one out.
It doesn't seem like it's possible. It feels like the momentum is all against them. The home team almost always wins game seven. The home team, in this case, will field a radically better lineup.
The Bulls are fighting an uphill battle against history, against talent, against the officials. They're fighting a battle they absolutely should not win. The Chicago Bulls should lose this game. They shouldn't even compete.
And that's when they're at their most dangerous.
When Miami strolled into the United Center riding a 27 game win streak and Joakim Noah had to sit out the game, Chicago came through. When halted the Knicks win streak without a front court. They've beaten these Nets many times with injuries already.
The Bulls have lost plenty of big games. They could easily lose this one too. However, they've won their fair share of big games even playing with depleted rosters against radically more talented teams. They've found ways to win when they should have lost.
They're a team that can dig deep, a team of toughness, a team worthy of the jersey, and a team you can be proud of.
I can't say any result in game seven would surprise me. I could see Chicago getting blown out or blowing out the Nets. It's one game, anything can happen, but if this is the last time we see the Bulls this year, I salute them.
Keys to the game
The keys don't change much.
The Bulls need to own the glass. They need to get offensive rebounds to counter their worse shooting, and they need to stop giving Brooklyn extra possessions. The Bulls need a game where they put up an extra 10 shots on Brooklyn.
Chicago needs to limit their turnovers, control the ball, and swing the ball from side to side well to create openings in the Brooklyn defense. They need Nate Robinson to have a strong game shooting, but a strong game with decision making as well.
They'll need Carlos Boozer to have a big night. He's the one guy on the team who can press a true advantage against his defender and do some serious damage.
They'll need to stay out of foul trouble. Chicago's been plagued by an unfavorable whistle all series. They've had numerous foul outs, some deserved, some dicey. It's not entirely under their control, but they'll need to hope for a more even distribution of calls this game so that the Nets don't have a parade to the free throw line.
If those things happen, Chicago will have a chance.