It Was the Right Call to Get Lopez the Last Shot (+the advanced box score, Chicago Bulls 92, Brooklyn Nets 90)
Check out the advanced stat box score from last night's 92-90 Brooklyn Nets loss here.
Some final takeaways:
Let's get this out of the way now: Deron Williams made the right play at the end of regulation. Williams got a step on Nate Robinson, drew Nazr Mohammad into the lane, and hit Brook Lopez for a wide open 17-foot jumper. That's a shot well within Lopez's comfort zone, and he was a friendlier rim away from sending the game to overtime. Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo drew the play up for his best player that night -- Williams -- to make a play, and Williams made a play. Sometimes they just don't fall. What they did was better than an isolation, it was team basketball that found an open man. It was not typical Nets basketball. It just didn't work this time.
Or look at it this way: Brook Lopez & Deron Williams combined for 58 points on 19-35 shooting. Rest of team? 32 points on 12-35 shooting.
Much more egregious than the final play -- and even the final minute, where Lopez completely fell apart -- was the Nets' curious decision to keep Reggie Evans on Carlos Boozer as Boozer shredded Rocksteady Reggie limb from limb. Six of Boozer's 12 field goals came with Evans in his face, one other came when Lopez had to rotate over to cover the assignment, and another came on a tip-in by Boozer over Evans after Andray Blatche had contested a shot. Carlesimo often talks about going "big" and is anathema to going "small," but he rarely does either -- choosing the unhappy "medium" of a traditional lineup.
Boozer even had a higher rebound percentage than Evans, which would be less important if Boozer also didn't score 29 points.
Your statistically odd plus-minus note of the day: Every Nets starter had a positive plus-minus, and every Nets bench player had a negative one.
Carlesimo also felt that there was a no-call on Lopez's second-to-last shot attempt, citing a rule I didn't quite understand. More on this in a later post.
Closing on this note: the Nets have a cakewalk schedule the rest of the way. Here's the final eight matchups: Charlotte (home), Philadelphia (home), Boston (away), Indiana (away), Toronto (away), Washington (home), Detroit (home). That's six teams in tank mode (Washington a possible exception), a seventh (Boston) that's far from guaranteed but winnable, and a game against an Indiana team that they've beaten in both matchups already.