The Brooklyn Nets fell to the Chicago Bulls, 118-95 on Monday. The ultimate rating makes it look rather less aggressive than it actually was. The massive story on this one was the Nets’ abysmal fourth quarter the place they had been outscored, 42-17. It was the group’s second of a back-to-back, following Sunday’s large highway victory over the Toronto Raptors. The Nets didn’t wish to admit it after the sport, nevertheless it appears potential fatigue might have performed an element down the stretch in opposition to the Bulls. The loss snapped what was a five-game successful streak.
The 7-4 Nets have spoken about their Achilles heel being rebounding. That reared its ugly head versus the Bulls. The final time Kevin Durant and firm misplaced was at dwelling in opposition to the Miami Warmth. In every of these losses, the Nets received dominated on the glass. The Bulls gained within the division, 56-42, including a 15-6 edge on the offensive glass. Relinquishing second likelihood buckets has been particularly deflating for the Nets this season.
Coming into the sport, the Nets had the seventeenth ranked offense, scoring 105.8 factors per 100 possessions, in line with NBA.com. They ranked first general final season in that division. However earlier than the competition in opposition to the Bulls, they boasted the sixth general protection. Nets coach Steve Nash spoke just lately about how their protection has (surprisingly) outperformed their offense.
“I’m simply happy with the best way they’ve competed,” mentioned Nash. “They’ve actually taken to it down there at [the defensive] finish of the ground. That’s one thing I don’t assume anybody predicted from our group, to achieve success defensively. We don’t have a bunch of A-plus defenders on this group however collectively they will get it carried out.”
However they knew they’d a tricky process in making an attempt to cease the Bulls’ two-headed monster in Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.
“They’re good defensively,” Nash shared earlier than the sport. “They’ve no less than two guys that may put the ball on the ground and make performs, rating, make performs for others, a post-up participant, shooters, and a facilitator. You take a look at their group and there’s nice steadiness they received plenty of completely different ways in which they will beat you.”
LaVine posted 24 factors on high of 5 boards and 5 dimes. DeRozan was extremely environment friendly, carving up the Nets’ overachieving “Blue Collar Boys” for 28 factors, 4 rebounds, three assists on 10-of-20 taking pictures from the sector. The Nets performed powerful protection in opposition to them however as Durant mentioned afterward, good offense can beat good protection generally.
This Zach LaVine fadeaway is just too good.
— NBA (@NBA) November 9, 2021
Offensively, it appeared Durant may get his factors, however the remainder of the group weren’t sufficient. There was extra foreshadowing earlier than the loss on that topic as effectively. Previous to the sport, Nash was requested about leaning too closely on his high gun.
“That’s the luxurious of All-Star gamers, they will (carry you at occasions). And Kevin’s clearly elite at scoring and isolating,” mentioned Nash. “So there’s the time once we lean on him however I feel it’s necessary for our group that you simply don’t over burn somebody like that. Whereas that may be a luxurious, that he could make performs in opposition to anybody we positively don’t wanna depend on that. That’s antithesis to our imaginative and prescient however it’s a luxurious at occasions when he can simply stand up and rating over folks.”
Durant was just about unstoppable. However the offense did turn out to be predictable.
Take a look at the Bulls exercise defensively. Harden/KD choose and roll. Bulls change. Lonzo goes proper to a entrance. Vucevic and LaVine rotate to (attempt) and be there on the catch. Get a contest. pic.twitter.com/WFuicmJKlI
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) November 9, 2021
KD completed with 38 factors, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists, on 13-of-24 taking pictures from the ground. The subsequent highest scorer was LaMarcus Aldridge, who completed with 19 factors on high of seven rebounds. Durant got here into the sport main the NBA in scoring. His sixth double-double in 11 video games gained’t harm your NBA Fantasy group both. He has been merely deadly.
James Harden has been a bit up and down this season. The Beard completed with 14 factors, eight boards, and 5 assists. He was simply 4-of-11 from the sector. It’s not the kind of line followers have grown accustomed to through the years from the previous MVP. He solely took three free throws, so (after all) that prompted extra postgame questions on new guidelines.
Had been the rule modifications an enormous consider taking Harden out of this one?
“Nah, I don’t wanna speak about it,” mentioned a annoyed James Harden after the sport. “It didn’t take me out of my recreation. Felt like I performed effectively ’til the fourth quarter. Fourth quarter, none of us performed effectively. It positively didn’t take me out of my recreation.”
What did KD assume they may have carried out higher?
“We coulda drove extra,” mentioned Durant. “Coulda made extra threes, we coulda did all the things higher. I like the place we had been for 3 quarters of this recreation we simply couldn’t end it out. However we coulda did just about all the things higher.”
The highway journey continues on Wednesday in opposition to the Orlando Magic. The Nets will look to get again to gang rebounding and discovering a extra evenly distributed offensive assault within the subsequent one. If solely there was a 3rd All-Star round to…by no means thoughts.