All tricks, no treat: Nets get blown out at home by Bulls
Since 2000, the Nets are just 3-4 on Halloween night and, in fact, you’ve got to go all the way back to 2010-2011 to find the last time they were victorious on this date. Back then, you had Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and, duh, Brook Lopez — but before their move to Brooklyn from New Jersey, the expectations were lower and the buckets came easier. You might be thinking, why did he just bother telling me all that?
Well, it was all in hopes of distracting you from this downright miserable first quarter against the Chicago Bulls. If you had the fortune of missing it — do not search it out, do not watch the replay tomorrow morning, do not read NBA.com’s play-by-play.
It was ugly; here are the cliff-notes:
The #Nets are just losing… everything: FG, FT, 3PT, AST, REB, STL, TOV, and, of course, PTS. Bulls lead 35-18.
— Ben Nadeau (@nedough) November 1, 2016
Bulls’ star Jimmy Butler started out a smoldering 5-5 from the floor and their starting lineup racked up 8 quick assists by alley-ooping and fastbreaking all over the Nets with ease. Neither Lopez made a bucket in the opening frame (both 0-3) and if not for Jeremy Lin’s near-heroic 5-5 start of his own, the Nets could’ve been in even worse straits.
The second quarter was better, but only in that they allowed 27 points instead of 38. Even Lopez, who generally thrives in the matchup against his twin brother, barely registered in the first half at all. Trevor Booker found himself constantly frustrated and yelling, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson got off to another oh-for start, and Justin Hamilton, the Nets’ only real backup center, promptly rolled his ankle.
With Randy Foye and Greivis Vasquez out, Isaiah Whitehead tried hard to make an immediate impact, but was pulled after missing 3 shots and throwing 2 turnovers in 3 minutes. The Bulls are exactly what the Nets strive to be: defensively stout, convincingly consistent from three, and employing the ball movement of a well-oiled machine.
The second half picked up right where we left off as Lin continued to be sloppy, the Bulls did their best impression of a ballhawk, and neither team indicated that they’d change their ways. After 36 minutes, the Nets were just 4-23 from three-point land and for a team that claims it as a strength and not much else — that was never going to reflect well on the final score.
Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo would not play in the fourth quarter and they were not needed in the slightest. For attending fans, the highlight of the night was Dwyane Wade putting Bojan Bogdanovic on skates on consecutive possessions in the early fourth quarter. The Nets buzzed through an entire 12-minute period with Anthony Bennett on the court and it went well compared to the rest of this outing. To any hop-ons catching their first Nets game of the season on NBATV, they left without any reason to believe that this is an improved squad from last year.
This game, from start to finish, was a house of horrors, let’s just hope that November brings better basketball from Brooklyn because they were absolutely outclassed tonight.
So, in the spirit of another loss on Halloween, we graded the Nets based on their candy counterparts, if only because I could really use some after that dismal performance.
Brook Lopez Center
13 PTS, 5-11 FG, 2 REB, 1 BLK, 1 TOV
Brook Lopez is a Twizzler
Twizzlers are…. objectively fine, I guess. You’re probably not going to complain if you get some Twizzlers, but compared to some of the best chocolates out there, it might be just a tad disappointing at times.
Although he improved greatly on a slow first half, including one incredible block on Wade at the rim, he didn’t offer much in the way of rim protection nor go-to scoring. With the game well in hand, Lopez sat the entire fourth quarter and his 2 rebounds in 22 minutes were only more than Anthony Bennett (1) and on par with Joe Harris, Sean Kilpatrick, and Jeremy Lin.
Trevor Booker Power Forward
5 PTS, 2-7 FG, 8 REB, 3 STL, 1 TOV
Trevor Booker is a Whopper
Often left at the bottom of the bag, Whoppers is one of the most versatile candies out there, even if they are a bit limited at times. For most candy-snackers, they don’t seek out Whoppers, but once they’ve crushed a whole box, they’ll think: man, I’m glad I had those Whoppers.
Tonight, however, he was up against the defensively sound (and thick) Taj Gibson, who frustrated the heck out of Nets’ best energy man. When his buckets aren’t coming easy, that means the rest of the squad are struggling as a whole.
And just because Whoppers are underrated, that doesn’t mean I want them shooting three-pointers while down 20 points.
Isaiah Whitehead Point Guard
6 PTS, 3-10 FG, 3 REB, 2 AST, 4 TOV
Isaiah Whitehead is a SweeTart
Straight sugar, no substance.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Small Forward
2 PTS, 1-6 FG, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK, 2 TOV
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a raisin
Non-existent on Halloween, non-existent thus far this season on offense.
Jeremy Lin Point Guard
14 PTS, 6-10 FG, 2 REB, 4 AST, 4 STL, 3 TOV
Jeremy Lin is a Butterfinger
Jeremy Lin was a classic candy and the Nets’ lone semi-bright spot from this disaster — but he’s still having trouble holding onto the basketball. Against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, Lin tossed 4 turnovers and followed that up with 3 tonight. Given that he gave up the insane count of 8 during a preseason game versus the New York Knicks, he might be guilty of trying to make a little too much happen with the limited cast of characters around him.
However, it’s tough to complain about his turnovers when he’s clearly carrying them everywhere else. Without Lin tonight, the Nets might’ve fallen by 60 points — so, yeah, it was bad for all involved, but a little less so for the point guard.