The Nets Take Down The Chicago Bulls for 8th Win of the Season

The Brooklyn Nets were able to grab their second road victory of the season with a win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night. Surprisingly, the Nets were on the second night of a back to back, after traveling to Chicago after their game Sunday at home against the Timberwolves. The Nets lost 100-85 on Sunday in typical Nets fashion.

Young started the night off hot, scoring the Nets first six points of the game. He would go on to have 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter. Young and his frontcourt mate, Brook Lopez, would both combine for 37 points and 25 rebounds, as they both collected double doubles for the night. The Nets came out strong and lead at the end of the first quarter, 29-22, after closing out the quarter with a 7-1 run.

The Nets came out clicking on offense. They were moving without the ball, making the extra pass, and creating good looks for each other. Look at how Joe Johnson draws the double, kicks it out to Jack who then swings it to Bogdanovic for a wide open three.

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However, the Nets still made very predictable mistakes. As well as Jack being called for defensive three seconds, Lopez would pick up his second foul in the first quarter. With Shane Larkin out, Donald Sloan has been getting Larkin’s minutes. Sloan clearly has no chemistry with Lopez, who picked up his second foul setting a screen for Sloan with around 1:20 left to play in the first quarter. Sloan also messed up spacing the floor, as Johnson posts up the smaller Kirk Hinrich.

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The Nets went to halftime up 58-55 and again came out clicking on offense. Lopez scored the Nets first six points of the second half. The Nets went on an 11-0 run to put them up 81-69, their largest lead of the game. But in Nets fashion, they had to make the fans sweat it out like usual. The Bulls climbed back and had the deficit down to 3 with three minutes to go in the game. The Nets forced two late turnovers and got several key offensive rebounds to drain the clock. With the Nets up 4, Butler took a mid range jumper that was blocked by Lopez to seal the deal.

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To be honest, I’m split about this win. Don’t get me wrong, a win is a win, and I’ll take as many as we can get, but the Nets played sloppily throughout some points of the game. We missed easy layups and shots, had dumb turnovers, committed stupid fouls, and didn’t box out well. Chicago got two offensive rebounds with less than ten seconds to play in the game. If the Nets want to continue to win they will need to be able to close out games.

I was pleasantly surprised with Lionel Hollins tonight. He had a lineup of Bargnani, Young, and Lopez out there for a little bit of time tonight. Hollins is able to do this because of Young’s versatility and quickness, as he covered Mirotic and McDermott. Hollins even went with a two-point guard lineup with Jack and Sloan against Rose and Brooks. These lineups won’t work every night and won’t work in long stretches, but having the ability to throw these lineups out there forces other coaches to change their rotation and game plan.

Hollins decided to double Pau and in the post as well, as long as the Nets Jimmy Butler was the least available option on the perimeter for a kick out from the post. He took timeouts in the right spot, not allowing the game or momentum to get too out of hand. And once again Hollins went with offense defense substitutions late in the game. I will be the first to call out Hollins for his miscues and mistakes, which will assuredly happen throughout the entire season, but got to give credit where credit is due.

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