Too little, too late for the Nets as they lose to the Bulls, 79-76, in a game you can't unsee

USA TODAY Sports

With the series tied at 1-1, the Brooklyn Nets were in Chicago to take on the Bulls hoping to "steal one" on the road. Earlier in the day there were some concerns whether or not Joe Johnson (plantar fasciitis) would play. For the Bulls, it was all about Joakim Noah and whether or not they could extend him beyond 25 minutes.

Offensively, the Nets may have played the absolute worst half of basketball in the first half of this one, shooting 22 percent from the floor and scoring just 34 points. Somehow, though, they were only down by seven at the half. Somehow.

In the second half, things didn't get any better. OK, they were slightly better in that they shot better than 22 percent from the floor in the second half, but not by much. In the end, the Nets were both outplayed and out-coached, losing this one in a game that wasn't really as close as the final score would indicate, 79-76.

You can say this, though, the Nets need to come home tied at 2-2, and really that was the best-case scenario heading into this 2-game road swing. So, that makes Saturday a must-win. A must. And they need to play better than they did tonight. Much, much, much better.

Game Flow

The game got out to a bit of a "scary" start, if you will. Just nine seconds into the game, Deron Williams took a shot to the jaw and was on the ground, holding his chin. Thankfully, he got up with no real issue. From there, the Nets got aggressive, once again trying to work the ball inside and draw fouls on the Chicago bigs. It worked early, with Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng both picking up early fouls.

With the Nets packing the paint early, they were now able to open up from beyond the arc, with Joe Johnson and Williams each hitting threes, and Williams drawing a foul on a 3-point attempt. They carried an early 17-5 lead. A great way to shake off the Game 2 loss. All was well, right? Right?!

Until, of course, they failed to score a single point in 6-plus minutes with 14 straight misses, as the Bulls went on a 14-0 run. Another concern early was that Brook Lopez picked up a cheap second foul toward the end of the first quarter.

After one, the Nets trailed 19-17. They shot 23 percent form the floor. After getting out 17-5, they went scoreless in 6-plus minutes. Just ugly, ugly basketball.

Brooklyn's bench tried to get into an offensive rhythm to start the second quarter. Andray Blatche became the early offense for the Nets, if you want to call it that, because they still struggled -- mightily.

At the midway point in the second, they were shooting 18 percent from the floor, having made just one of their last 23 field goal attempts, after starting 5-of-8. What more can you say. The Bulls were on a 25-4 run and getting ready to call it an early night.

At halftime, the Nets were trailing the Bulls 41-34, shooting 22 percent from the floor.

Many, many adjustments needed to be made in the second half by head coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Unfortunately, none were made. The ugly basketball continued early in the third, as the Nets failed to score in the first three minutes of the quarter and watched as the Bulls pulled ahead by 13 points. The offensive drought then continued, and continued.... and continued. There was nothing going on the offensive side of the ball for the Nets.

P.J. tried to make offensive adjustments, going with the Williams-C.J. Watson-Joe Johnson-Blatche-Lopez lineup, but that didn't help.

After three, the Nets trailed the Bulls 65-52, as they shot 27 percent from the floor.

Carlesimo unleashed MarShon Brooks to start the fourth, hoping for something to give. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Nothing worked. The Bulls defense was just too good, and the Nets offense was downright awful.

No one played well in this one for Brooklyn, and the game wasn't coached well at all either. Not a single player stepped up.

Maybe the lone bright spot was Brook Lopez, who blocked seven shots and scored 22 points with nine rebounds. But, it was simply too little, too late. Hard to really point to the positive when this game was just so bad.

Somehow, I don't know how, but the Nets had a shot at tying the game in the final seconds. Somehow. They almost didn't deserve it.

In the end, Nets lose to the Bulls 79-76, as Chicago takes a 2-1 series lead.

For more on the Bulls, see: Blog a Bull

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