It was a year ago yesterday when Derrick Rose suffered a torn ACL in Game 1 of the Bulls’ first-round series against the Sixers. That Chicago has recovered enough to stand one win away from advancing to the second round of this year’s playoffs is a credit to general manager Gar Forman, coach Tom Thibodeau and the rest of the Bulls.

It doesn’t reflect kindly, however, on the Nets.

As the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Nets need a victory tonight at Barclays Center to keep from being eliminated by the fifth-seeded Bulls in just five games of the best-of-seven series. It would be a bitter and embarrassing ending to what has been an inspiring inaugural season in Brooklyn. Lose tonight and most of the feel-good story will be replaced by a sour taste that will linger through the offseason.

It also won’t sit well with owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who stood at center court before Game 1 and told Nets fans, “This is just the beginning.” It was assumed it was the beginning of something good, not of the shortcomings witnessed in the past three games.

The Bulls were vulnerable without Rose and with center Joakim Noah playing practically on one foot because of plantar fasciitis. But they have won three straight games since losing Game 1 at Barclays Center, including a triple-overtime affair Saturday afternoon in Chicago in which the Nets blew a 14-point lead in the final three minutes of regulation.

The Nets tried to say all the right things after the demoralizing defeat. The Bulls have never lost a series after leading 3-1, and there’s little to suggest the Nets can put together the kind of consistency needed to win three straight games. They have had enough trouble putting four consistent quarters together.

“We just have to take it one game at time,” Brook Lopez said. “That’s the best way to look at it right now.”

Interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo yesterday summed up the Nets’ plight this way: “We’ve got a one-game season. It’s as simple as that.”