With the Nets needing a statement win, Sunday afternoon provided the perfect storm: they’d played just one game in the past week, against the league’s doormat in the Philadelphia 76ers just a hundred miles down the highway, while the Bulls were on the fourteenth and final day of a seven-game road trip.
The Bulls’ big men played with more energy (Joakim Noah waves) and efficiency (Pau Gasol nods), their guards more aggressive (Jimmy Butler barks) and freakish (Derrick Rose backflips), and ran the Nets off the floor by the close of the third quarter.
The Bulls are arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference, so this came as little surprise. But even in a loss, you’d expect the Nets to put up a better fight than this.
Barely played in the second half as the Nets fell apart.
Hit a nice jumper to open the gates within the Nets flex offense and scored his requisite double digits, but struggled with foul trouble and remains little match for Joakim Noah’s boundless energy. Played strong man defense against Pau Gasol, but Gasol was able to convert tough looks over him.