Behind some hot shooting from Nikola Mirotic and Aaron Brooks, the Nets fell down 33-19 in the first quarter, before catching offensive fire from inside the arc to erase that lead. The Nets again came out flat in the third, shooting just 6-for-31 in the quarter behind a bevy of Joe Johnson isolations and missed second chances, and that lead was enough to carry the Bulls to victory.
There were a couple of bright spots: the 36-point second quarter, the energy from the second unit, the no-point guard lineup paying some fun dividends in comeback mode. But by the end of the game, the Bulls just had too much talent, hit three-pointers on a night when the Nets literally did not hit three-pointers — they finished 0-for-9 from three-point range, while five Bulls players hit multiple threes — and the Nets lost to a team that just has less work to do.
Feathery touch in mid-season form early on, but he seemed hesitant when going directly at the rim, preferring to only pull up for floaters.
Most of his offense came in the pick-and-pop or pick-and-short-roll, which fits well with Shane Larkin. Forced Pau Gasol into a few tough shots, but Gasol was able to lift a few in, most notably a pretty turnaround jumper late in the fourth quarter to put the Bulls up 11.
Before the season, I asked Lionel Hollins if Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was a part of his rotation. Hollins said he wasn’t sure yet.
He might be more sure after tonight’s performance. An impressive debut for the rookie, who made an immediate defensive impact staying in front of his man and blocking shots. There’s some kinks to work out, and his jump shot will be a years-long process (though he made one!), but the effect with Hollis-Jefferson on the court during that second quarter (and some of the fourth) was palpable.