It’s a weird time to be a Nets fan. You’re coming off a really, really rough loss to a shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers team, a random leading-to-nothing conversation about whether or not Kyrie Irving can play at home, and now the Nets are off to Chicago to play the East-leading Chicago Bulls at 10:00pm EST.
Weird, wild stuff going on.
The Nets really could use a win over a team like the Bulls to help regain a bit of the fan confidence that has eroded over the last few weeks.
Chicago has won 9 of their last 10 games, while the Nets are on a 4-6 slide in their last 10. This won’t be easy, especially if Harden, Claxton and Irving are all banged up a bit.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (25-14) at Chicago Bulls (27-11)
WHEN: 10:00 PM EST
WHERE: ESPN (national), YES (local), WFAN-AM/FM (radio)
There probably won’t be many threes tonight. Chicago is dead last in threes attempted, but they lead the league in efficiency as they’ve made 39 percent of their shots from downtown. Without Harris, Brooklyn’s 3-point shooting has plummeted, and Patty Mills’ recent struggles haven’t been helping the cause. He’ll be coming off the bench tonight and the hope for the Nets is that he can provide a jolt of shooting once he checks in.
Turnovers have been hurting the Nets recently, and they need to be extra careful tonight. The Bulls are sixth in the NBA in points off turnovers while the Nets allow the sixth most points off of turnovers. The Nets have had their issues with the elite teams, so they will need to play a disciplined, steady game if they want to get the win. The Nets have had opportunities to go on huge runs to put teams away, but have not taken full advantage.
If he keeps at it, DeMar DeRozan might sneak an MVP vote or two. DD has been masterful as his buzzer beaters have gotten the Bulls some last second wins and his steady excellence has kept the team humming. Elite teams need multiple players that can consistently get their own shots and DeRozan does that in spades. He doesn’t get to the rim as much as he used to, but when he’s there, finishes at an incredibly high clip.
For more on the Bulls, check out Blog a Bull.