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Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls preview: Nets look to go 2-2 at home this weekend

A weekend back-to-back concludes with another early evening encounter vs. Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center.

Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Home cooking always does a body good. The Brooklyn Nets are back from the Thanksgiving holiday and will be hanging out in Brooklyn for the next few days. They got the homestand off to a good start with a convincing win against the Miami Heat last night. The Nets are now 7-8 on the season.

The opponent tonight. They were on the road Friday night, but lost to the Toronto Raptors 121-108. More on the ending of that game in a bit. Chicago is 5-12 on the season.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN on radio. Tip after *:30 PM.


No Ben Simmons, Cam Thomas, or Dennis Smith Jr.

Alex Caruso (left toe strain) and Zach Lavine (right foot soreness) are questionable. Lonzo Ball is out for the season.

The game

The Nets won the first meeting. The next and final meeting of the season will be at the end of March.

Home back-to-backs are helpful when it comes to rest and recovery for the players. Of course, if you ask players they’ll probably tell you eliminating them altogether is the way to go, but this is the next best thing.

Zach Lavine is here, but the better question is when he won’t be here. The Bulls are rumored to be shopping their All Star, but things appear to be quiet on that front. Before we get there, we have to figure out what the market may hold. Over at Blog a Bull, your friendly bulls blogger took a look at Lavine and Bulls management:

I’m not sure that value fluctuates much by his lackadaisical play or being a dildo in public or his agency clowning their way through this trade request. For one thing, the Bulls and LaVine get ample cover for any drama because they’re so irrelevant. But it certainly doesn’t help the Bulls efforts to trick a team into thinking LaVine is worth more than he was in the summer, and Karnisovas is now under internal pressure to settle where he was perhaps not willing to in the offseason.

We all knew that AKME was trying to trade LaVine, but like all things they do it was not a very firm attempt. They instead pivoted to tripling-down and selling us on internal improvement.

That has already failed.

Chicago is at a critical point in their journey and fans are watching every move closely. For tonight, Lavine will have to contend with Mikal Bridges. Bridges started slowly last night, but got going in the second quarter and finished with a cool 24 points.

Nic Claxton looked pretty awesome again last night. The big guy put together another excellent outing with 13 points, six rebounds, three blocks, and two steals. Every game, we see him flashing more and more of his creativity on offense, and it’s a great sight

Clax will get to wrestle with Nikola Vucevic this evening. Vuc has been a thorn in the side of New Jersey/Brooklyn for the longest time, but Clax should be up to the challenge. Day’ron Sharpe has been getting first quarter minutes in recent games and has been making the most out of that opportunity. Having big bodies that can bother a quality center like Vucevic is always a blessing and with night two of a home b2b, look for the Nets to have a bit more energy in the tank.

Player to watch: DeMar DeRozan

With the In Season Tournament, you need to win of course. However, you also need to win by a lot so you have the point differential advantage in case of tiebreakers. That leads to players getting extra buckets when the game is already decided. And when you do that around DeMar DeRozan, he’s gonna let you hear about it!

I see. To be fair to DeMar, when Lance Stephenson tried something similar a few years ago, he and P.J. Tucker wanted to fight him!

Consistent is consistent.

In the meantime, DeRozan will look to put a win on the board for his squad. He can get going in the midrange and take over in crunch time. The Bulls need as much help as they can to get out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves, and DeRozan going off will help in their quest to remain a playoff team.

Cam Johnson had it going early last night. CJ scored 12 of his 16 points in the first quarter and had the shot going early from three point range. For Johnson, being able to have that success from three and get to the rim makes him a much more versatile player for the Nets.

From the Vault

Last night was the WWE Survivor Series, and WAR GAMES! Cody Rhodes was in the main event and once upon a time, his brother Dustin was in War Games

as well as Dusty!

And last but not least, CM Punk is back!

More reading: Blog a Bull, SB Nation NBA, Nets Republic, Pippen Ain’t Easy