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Nets bring postseason basketball to Brooklyn, and Bulls' Noah may have to miss the party

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FILE - In this March 2, 2013 file photo, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, right, blocks a shot by Brooklyn Nets forward Reggie Evans (30) as Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, left, looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago. The Nets are bringing playoff basketball to Brooklyn in the first season in their new home. They open against Chicago, which has a couple of players who grew up in New York and want to help the Bulls spoil the postseason party. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) (The Associated Press)

The Nets are bringing postseason basketball to Brooklyn, and Joakim Noah might have to miss the party.

Noah, who grew up in New York, is battling foot problems and might be sidelined when the series opens Saturday, leaving the Chicago Bulls without their top option to defend Nets All-Star center Brook Lopez.

Noah's absence could make a huge difference in what shapes up as a competitive series between the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds in the Eastern Conference. Chicago won three of the four meetings during the regular season, but only one game was decided by more than four points.

The Nets are healthier and finished strong, winning six of their final seven games to clinch fourth place and open the series at Barclays Center.