Bulls 92, Nets 90 (Game Grades)


Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Superstar. Phenomenal play after phenomenal play in the fourth quarter. An and-one layup that fouled out Kirk Hinrich. His impact was felt immediately upon entering the game in the fourth — on the first play, he drove the lane, drawing the defense, and kicking it inside to Andray Blatche for a dunk. Couple of nasty crossovers, caught Hinrich with the hilarious veteran move at the end of the third quarter, getting him to lean into Williams to try to block a 35-foot shot with 0.3 seconds left. Williams got three free throws (making two), broke what would’ve been a tie to end the third.

There were many reasons the Nets struggled to put this one away. Let’s not write any revisionist history: Deron Williams was not one of them.

Joe Johnson SHOOTING GUARD

Didn’t show up until the fourth quarter and holy crap did he show up. Three huge spot-up threes — the last to put the Nets up 88-86 with 74 seconds left — helped keep the Nets afloat. Perhaps if he’d done anything in the first three quarters…

Gerald Wallace SMALL FORWARD

It’s terrifying how expected Wallace’s inefficiency has become.

Brook Lopez CENTER

Couldn’t have a worse end to a better start. Dropped 20 efficient points in the first half on a variety of jumpers and dump-ins inside, blocked a few shots at the rim, grabbed a board or two in traffic… and played his worst possession of the night at the worst possible time, throwing a pass right into the hands of the defense with the Nets up 1 and allowing Nate Robinson to loft an easy floater in the lane to give the Bulls the lead. On the next possession, he threw a ball into oustretched arms, and as the buzzer ran out, missed an open jumper that would have sent the game to overtime.

Without Lopez, the Nets are nowhere near close to winning this game. But with him, they lost.

Andray Blatche POWER FORWARD

I’ll let Zach Lowe tell this one:

Keith Bogans SHOOTING GUARD

Worst role star ever, though a questionable offensive foul call on Reggie Evans got a game-tying three taken away from him.

Reggie Evans POWER FORWARD

Was thoroughly outrebounded by Carlos Boozer. That’s wall you really need to know to gauge his night. Did have one hustle rebound & sweet pass to Joe Johnson for a big 3 that salvaged him from an F.