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Luol Deng

An annual summer series, ESPN released its summer forecast yesterday, projecting where each team would finish in the 2013-14 season.

The top five in the East, according to ESPN, goes as follows: the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks.

It's the same teams that finished in top five a season ago, except teams 2-5 are scrambled up. In 2012, the Knicks finished second in the Eastern Conference, followed by the Pacers, Nets and Chicago.

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire, andrea bargnani, Andrew Bynum, Anthony Bennett, beno udrih, Brandon Jennings, Brook Lopez, Carlos Boozer, Carmelo Anthony, Danny Granger, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, iman shumpert, j.r. smith, Jason Kidd, jason terry, Jimmy Butler, joe johnson, Josh Smith, Kenyon Martin, kevin garnett, Knicks, Kyrie Irving, Luol Deng, metta world peace, paul pierce, Raymond Felton, tyson chandler, Sam Spiegelman
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On Thursday night, the Nets were defeated by the Chicago Bulls by a final score of 79-76 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

The Skinny: The Nets went on an early 11-0 run fueled by six points from Deron Williams and a three-pointer from the ailing Joe Johnson to establish a double-digit lead. But from there, Brooklyn went completely cold, missing 14 straight shots over the final 6:25 of the quarter. The Bulls turned the ball over six times in the opening frame, but Chicago concluded the quarter on a 14-0 run to take a two-point lead after one.

An emphatic dunk by Brooklyn native Taj Gibson early in the second quarter gave the Bulls a six-point lead, but Chicago?s problems with turnovers kept the Nets in the game. Brooklyn just could not make a shot though, allowing the Bulls to go ahead by 12 as part of a 28-4 extended run. Chicago maintained a 10-point lead until a Gerald Wallace buzzer-beating three-pointer cut the Nets? deficit to seven at the break.

Tags: Brooklyn Nets, bulls, carlos boozer, chicago bulls, deron williams, joakim noah, joe johnson, luol deng, Nets, nets, nets bulls
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On Monday night, the Nets were defeated by the Chicago Bulls by a final score of 90-82 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

The Skinny: Both teams were extremely cold offensively to start, but the Bulls managed an 8-2 run to open the game. The Nets did not make their first field goal until a Gerald Wallace running lay-up at the 6:48 mark. Carlos Boozer picked up where he left off in Game 1, knocking down a few tough shots early. The Nets played solid defense in the quarter with four steals and two blocks, which gave the offense some time to get going. Joe Johnson and Luol Deng each poured in seven first-quarter points, and Chicago led by three after the opening frame.

The Bulls increased the lead to seven to start the second quarter, led by an offensive spark off the bench from Marco Belinelli. But led by Kris Humphries, Brooklyn went on a 6-0 run to get within one. Three straight jumpers from Brook Lopez a few minutes later gave the Nets their first lead of the game. A 6-0 Chicago run put the Bulls back ahead, but a buzzer-beating three-pointer by C.J. Watson cut the Nets? deficit to one at the break.

Tags: Brooklyn Nets, bulls, carlos boozer, deron williams, derrick rose, eastern conference quarterfinals, luol deng, nba first round, nba playoffs, Nets, nets, nets bulls
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On Thursday night, the Nets were defeated by the Chicago Bulls by a final score of 92-90.

The Skinny: The Nets opened the game on an 8-0 run in the first two minutes, with Brook Lopez knocking down jumpers and converting in the paint. Lopez scored 18 of Brooklyn?s first 22 points after making his first six shots from the field and 8-of-9 overall. The Nets opened a 13-point lead after the first quarter.

The Nets maintained their double-digit lead for much of the second quarter, with Andray Blatche and MarShon Brooks provided the offense from the second unit. Chicago finally got going offensively to get back within seven in the final minutes thanks to Carlos Boozer. But a hot hand from Deron Williams and an emphatic dunk from Lopez helped Brooklyn close out the first half leading by 11.

Tags: brook lopez, Brooklyn Nets, chicago bulls, deron williams, derrick rose, luol deng, Nets, nets, nets bulls, rapid recap
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On Friday night, the Nets defeated the Chicago Bulls by a final score of 93-89.

The Skinny: Deron Williams kept up his string of fast starts, hitting on his first three shots from the field for seven points which helped the Nets open an early seven-point lead. Brooklyn increased the lead to 10, as the shorthanded Bulls managed just 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting in the first quarter.

Chicago chipped away into the Nets? lead to eventually tie the game as Marco Belinelli and Brooklyn-born Taj Gibson provided an offensive spark. Luol Deng drilled a corner three with less than a minute left in the half to give the Bulls their first lead. As that was happening, Williams hobbled to the Nets bench after stepping on Nate Robinson?s foot and appearing to roll hi right ankle. The Bulls led by one at the break.

Tags: brook lopez, Brooklyn, bulls, chicago, luol deng, marco belinelli, marshon brooks, Nets, nets, rapid recap, taj gibson
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Tonight at 7:30 p.m., the Nets continue a tough homestand against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center.

The Nets suffered their first home loss under P.J. Carlesimo Wednesday to the Miami Heat and have now lost three of their last four games.

Still without Derrick Rose, the Bulls are one of the league?s hottest teams having won eight of their last 10 games.

Tags: brook lopez, bulls, deron williams, derrick rose, jimmy butler, joakim noah, luol deng, nate robinson, Nets, nets, pregame primer
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Ken Berger reports that Luol Deng has given the Bulls a two-week window to sign him to a new deal. If not, he will sign a one-year qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Knicks are one of the teams monitoring the situation to see if Chicago will be inclined to do a sign and trade rather then risk losing him next year.

This would be a great move if the Knicks could pull it off. Deng is an athletic foward who can score and has a great wingspan. I believe he would be a perfect fit in the D'Antoni scheme. Not sure what it will take to acquire Deng, but this is worth keeping an eye on.

Tags: Luol Deng
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