A plethora of injuries will join the numbered headlines as the Chicago Bulls take on the star-studded Brooklyn Nets and head coach Steve Nash for the second time in the past five days on the early afternoon of May 15. The Bulls will face the Nets just ahead of the start of the postseason on the road at the Barclays Center to begin the weekend.
A difficult weekend where first-year head coach Billy Donovan and the Bulls will have to deal with missing the postseason for the fourth straight year will see them take on both the Nets and divisional foe Milwaukee Bucks. That’s not an easy way to end the regular season, but it doesn’t matter much at this point given that they were eliminated from the postseason on May 14.
When the Washington Wizards took down the Central Division foe Cleveland Cavaliers on the night of May 14, the Bulls were officially eliminated from postseason contention. That makes the drought nearly a half-decade long for the postseason now in the Windy City.
The last time that the Bulls made it to the postseason was back when Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, and Jimmy Butler formed their top trio back in 2017. And they were ousted in the first round of the playoffs that year by the Boston Celtics.
Moreover, when the Bulls face a potential NBA Title contender on May 15, they will do so without some of their top players. Even the Nets have some injury issues worth noting. It looks like the Nets will be without superstar guard James Harden for their second straight meeting with the Bulls.
More impactful injuries for the Chicago Bulls and Nets
It was well known since the afternoon of May 14 that the Bulls would be without the duo of center Daniel Theis and shooting guard/small forward Troy Brown Jr. against the Nets on the road. But both combo guard Tomas Satoransky and star shooting guard Zach LaVine will now be out against the Nets.
The Bulls will now have four impactful absences against the Nets due to injuries. At least maybe this will be a true opportunity for some of the less utilized Bulls players in the rotation to get more playing time against a top-tier opponent.
There are key absences all throughout the rotation, including Brown Jr. missing on the wing, Theis missing for the frontcourt, and LaVine and Sato leaving a void in the backcourt. Maybe we could now see the likes of shooting guard/wing Adam Mokoka, rookie point guard Devon Dotson, veteran forward Al-Farouq Aminu, shooting guard Javonte Green, etc. more in this game.
On the Nets side of things, Nash will be missing a key part of his guard/wing rotation against the Bulls. Sharpshooting guard/small forward Joe Harris is reportedly (confirmed by Malika Andrews on Twitter on the morning of May 15) out against the Bulls as he’s dealing with a lower-body injury.
Harris was solid for the Nets in their win over the Bulls at the United Center earlier in the week, by an eight-point margin. He is expected to be back for the Nets, though, by the time the postseason arrives.
Tip-off time between the Bulls and Nets is set for 12 p.m. Noon CT at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on May 15. This will be the final meeting between the Bulls and Nets this season, and it comes one game before Chicago’s regular season finale.