Fresh off the single craziest game in recent memory — game six in 2009 was better but less crazy — the Chicago Bulls head back to Brooklyn, trying to advance to the second round for the second time in three years.
Saturday’s triple-overtime victory gave the Bulls a 3-1 series lead over the Brooklyn Nets, and now they’ll have three chances to clinch the series. Unfortunately, they’ll be doing so — at least tonight, and possibly further — without Kirk Hinrich, who has really stepped up in this series as the Bulls have bounced back from a disheartening game one loss. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported this morning that Hinrich was in a walking boot and his status is in doubt going forward.
Hinrich had 18 points and tied a franchise playoff record with 14 assists Saturday in a staggering 59 minutes of action. His defense on Deron Williams since game one has been largely good, although Williams did score 32 points on Saturday. Now the main work on Williams will likely shift to Jimmy Butler, who has guarded Williams in stretches, depending on who else is on the floor.
If Chicago can’t clinch tonight — 6 p.m. central on TNT — then game six would be in Chicago on Thursday. No time has been announced, as the game is not officially necessary yet. Game seven, if necessary, would be Saturday.