So much for that. On a night in which all eyes were on Brooklyn, the Nets were not able to come away with a victory against the red hot Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland kept their winning streak going and beat the Nets by 22 points. The Nets will try to do better against the Cavs next Friday in Cleveland.
Coming into the Barclays Center will be the Chicago Bulls. Chicago has played pretty well this season, but are coming off of a loss on Saturday night to the amazing Golden State Warriors. They've had a few days off since the Warriors game, and as we know, a lot has gone on since Saturday night. More on that later.
Where to follow the game
For television, slide on over to the YES Network. Radio? WFAN 101.9 FM has got you covered. Tip off is a bit after 8:00 PM Eastern time.
No Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson tonight. Lopez is out for the week (maybe longer) with a back injury and Johnson is dealing with the flu. Mirza Teletovic is questionable after messing his face up against the Cavs.
For the Bulls, we won't be seeing Joakim Noah and Doug McDermott. Noah's dealing with a bad ankle and McDermott has been out with a bad right knee. Taj Gibson is probable with a left ankle injury.
What's the story here? Let's get into it:
Offensive Rebounding Rate
Free Throw Rate
Effective Field Goal Percentage
Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage
We can add a few more people to the rumor mill. The Nets are off to a mediocre start and there are reports that Deron Williams, Johnson, and Lopez are on the trading block. Speaking of trades, the Nets and Sixers are discussing a trade that would send Andrei Kirilenko to Philadelphia. Kirilenko hasn't played November 13. Here comes the trade machine! Damn it, here comes the trade machine.
Once again, the third quarter did the Nets in. The game was tied at 61 and then the Cavs went on a 24-6 to effectively put the game out of reach. The inability to adjust following halftime has been plaguing this franchise for years and will torpedo any thoughts of a playoff appearance if they don't get it together soon.
Assuming Teletovic is out, Mason Plumlee and Kevin Garnett will be in the frontcourt. Plumlee has seemingly regained Lionel Hollins' good graces after being demoted a few weeks ago. This represents a great opportunity for Plumlee to earn some more minutes when Lopez gets back. His athleticism can serve as a great change of pace for a team that is lacking in that department.
Without Johnson, there will be more shot attempts for Bojan Bogdanovic. Bojan has cooled off some recently but is still a player that the Nets rely on. He only played 23 minutes against the Cavaliers, and all signs point to something similar happening here. He will split time with Jarrett Jack. They and the rest of the Nets will have their hands full with Jimmy Butler. Quietly, he's grown into one of the best wing players in the Association. He's a good scorer that gets to the line a bunch, can post up, an excellent defender, and a respectable three point shooter.
When he last saw the Nets, Pau Gasol had his best game in ages. He scored 25 points, picked up 13 rebounds and thoroughly outplayed Lopez. Noah is out so Pau will slide over to the Center position. He's nowhere near the defender Noah is, but his offense should be able to carry the Bulls in this game. He's a good passing big man and still has plenty of go to moves in the post. Garnett will probably be the one to match up with Pau and while they're both past their primes, they are still solid contributors. Garnett has been one of the league's best on the defensive glass and they will need him to play big minutes if they want to pull off the upset.
Player to watch: Derrick Rose
This is the first game since the 2011 MVP donned an "I Can't Breathe" shirt during warmups. Since that night, players from around the league have stood in solidarity with the people protesting the non indictment of Eric Garner's killer and worn the shirts. It has sparked a lot of discussion and I wrote about it here.
Moving onto on court matters, he hasn't been playing at a high level, but that hasn't hurt the team much. Rose is averaging a career low in minutes and is shooting only 40.3 percent from the field, and a look at where he's taking his shots can help explain why. Rose has never been a good three pointer and this year is no exception, but 45.5 percent of his attempts have come from three point range, far and away the most in his career. He's driven to the rim "only" six times a night, and that should rise as the season progresses. I don't think this portion of the season is relevant for Rose in all honesty. As long as he's healthy and in a rhythm for mid April and beyond, the Bulls will be ok.
In the meantime, the matchup between Rose and Deron Williams ought to be fun. With Johnson and Lopez out, Williams will have to be the leading scorer as well get his teammates good looks. Deron will be looking for his shot early and often against Rose and will try to saddle him with foul trouble. When Rose heads to the bench, Aaron Brooks will take his spot. Williams has the size advantage over Brooks and should look to post him up early in the shot clock.
From the Vault
Head back to 1995 and see the returning Michael Jordan against the Nets.
More reading: Blog a Bull
- Brooklyn Nets: Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Chicago Bulls Game Notes - Chicago Bulls
- Nets-Bulls Preview - Jordan Garretson - STATS LLC
- Lionel Hollins’ reeling Nets limping way to Chicago - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Nets rewind: Sometimes there’s no stopping LeBron - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Joakim Noah (ankle) out Wednesday against Garnett, Nets - Mike Singer - Comcast Sports Net
Joakim Noah out for Wednesday's Bulls game vs. Nets - K.C. Johnson - Chicago Tribune