The Nets competed for the first 24 minutes against a solid team, but fell apart down the stretch, falling prey to their own bad tendencies and decisions en route to an embarrassing double-digit loss.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
The Nets played with aggressiveness in the first half, with equal parts smart shots in their offense, hustle for loose balls, and the occasional push on the break. But they just couldn’t do anything to stop the Bulls’ attack in the second half, and struggled to manufacture even easy shots against a Bulls team missing the Defensive Player of the Year.
The Nets were missing two of their best players in Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, as well as Mirza Teletovic, but the bottom just fell out against the Bulls in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter, and the Nets didn’t play with any urgency or finesse, allowing Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose, and Jimmy Butler to have their way inside and out.
An atrocious effort that’s most worrisome in its commonality.
17 PTS, 5-10 FG, 5 AST, 2 STL
Played with attack mentality, going a few ticks faster than the rest of his team and thus looking out of sync on a few possessions.
He wants to push the pace, but not everyone’s running with him, and even when he does, the Bulls were able to contain them with their length and explosiveness.
6 PTS, 3-8 FG, 6 REB
Made a surprise start for the Nets over Bojan Bogdanovic, and looked the part early, hitting a floater and scoring another bucket quickly in the first quarter. But that was all she wrote offensively for Karasev, who only scored once again.
Played surprisingly good defense on Mike Dunleavy, running the floor throughout and forcing a turnover early in the third quarter. Given what you’d expect from his past in-game experience, a positive night for Karasev.
12 PTS, 5-10 FG, 2-6 3P, 3 REB
Didn’t do the worst job as a fifth-banana-in-a-third-banana role. But that kind of says it all as far as what he could do.
13 PTS, 6-15 FG, 7 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL
Garnett often talks about how he’s not a “primary” on this team, but with two of their primaries out, he had a clear motive to generate more of the offense.
Lots of mid-range jumpers later, and the Nets lose by double-digits.
8 PTS, 3-11 FG, 8 REB, 3 BLK, 3 TOV, 5 PF
Very aggressive, which led to his requisite foul trouble and rough shot selection. He’s thousands of training hours away from being as good as he wants to be.
7 PTS, 1-8 FG, 6 REB, 4 AST
Poor decision-making down the stretch as the Nets fell apart in the fourth quarter.
SHAKE IT OFF, CORY
0 PTS, 0-5 FG
Didn’t give Lionel Hollins a reason to bring him back in the starting lineup. The way he’s played recently barely resembles an NBA player.
Just to say goodbye to the swingman, who is expected to be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers as soon as Thursday. He has dealt with a personal matter for most of the past month, and likely won’t play in the NBA again until at least March, if ever.