The Brooklyn Nets’ hopes of going 82-0 quickly vanished as they started off their 40th season in the NBA with a loss to the Chicago Bulls. New York’s own rapper, Jadakiss, was on the court to announce the starting lineups for our beloved Brooklyn Nets, donning his throwback Julius Erving Nets jersey. By the way, Brooklyn’s starting lineup for their home opener was:
PG - Shane Larkin
SG - Wayne Ellington
SF - Joe Johnson
PF - Thaddeus Young
C - Brook Lopez
I had a few hopes for a Nets win to start off their season. For starters, the Nets have started with wins the past 3 seasons before last night’s setback. Another reason why I thought we would come out victorious is because we went up against a Bulls team that played just the night before. Since teams are not in mid-season form yet, the back-to-back games can be a disadvantage due to fatigue. Now, by no means was I guaranteeing a win, but I did believe this would increase our chances.
The start of the game was rather ugly and sloppy, to say the least, for Brooklyn. The Bulls were off to a hot start which led to a quick Lionel Hollins time-out just under 3 minutes into the game, giving the Bulls a 7-0 lead, a lead they would never relinquish. After the timeout, Thaddeus Young was able to get Brooklyn on the board with a hook shot out of the post. Andrea Bargnani was the first Nets substitution to step on the court just about half way through the 1st quarter. The Nets continued to struggle in the first quarter which led to another timeout by Hollins following a run of 11-2 by the Bulls. At that point, the score was 24-10 Bulls. Following the time-out, Donald Sloan, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson all checked in to the game for the first time. They helped the Nets close out the first quarter with the Bulls leading 30-19. The Nets only shot 8 of 20 from the field in the 1st quarter.
The Nets played significantly better in the second quarter. The Nets started to invert their front court in order to create space for open looks in the high post. This was a strategic move because Lopez would constantly be double-teamed once he received the ball in the paint. This helped Brook Lopez score a game-high 26 points while Bargnani scored 17 points. Brooklyn went on a surging 20-9 run before a Bulls time-out was called, that only put us down 3 points with the score 52-49 Bulls. The Nets shot a more productive 16 of 23 from the field in the 2nd quarter which allowed them to trailing at halftime 58-55.
The third quarter, just like the first, was a rather ugly one. The Nets fell apart and never seemed to catch back up with the Bulls. The Bulls outscored the Nets 28-16 in the 3rd quarter which allowed them to pull away with their lead. The awful 6 of 31 shooting from the field that the Nets unfortunately displayed essentially put the nail in the coffin for them. To sum up the 3rd quarter’s shooting display, we have the help of one of our newest Nets, Andrea Bargnani:
That shot conveniently led to this coach Hollins facial expression:
The Bulls were led 86-71 to close out the 3rd quarter.
The 4th quarter entailed the Nets attempting to close that 15-point deficit. The Nets never had enough in the tank to make the game close again. Brooklyn shot 8 of 18 from the field in the final quarter. The game ended with a Bulls win 115-100.
Something to make note of is that the Nets did not make a single 3 point shot. The last time this happened was the season opener of the 12-70 season…I still have nightmares of that season.
The Nets next game is away this Friday against the San Antonio Spurs at 8:30PM (EST).