Saturday, February 18, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Nets 97, Bulls 85
By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the New Jersey Nets picked up an unexpected 97-85 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday afternoon at the United Center.
How it happened: Playing without Derrick Rose (back) and Richard Hamilton (groin/thigh) yet again, the Bulls looked lifeless all day. They had no rhythm on offense and couldn't stop the Nets from making runs. Mike James led the way for the Bulls, scoring 16 points and dishing out seven assists. Carlos Boozer added 16 points, but it did not matter on this day. The Bulls defense, which had been so good most of the year, was terrible. Joakim Noah played one of his worst games of the season, failing to score and grabbing six rebounds in 21 minutes.
What it means: The Bulls stunk. This was the team's worst effort of the season. They had no energy and played like a team that thought it would step on the floor and beat up on a weak Nets squad. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has to be furious with the way his players approached this game. They did not play with the fire that he usually demands from them. It will be interesting to see what kind of effort the Bulls bring on Monday afternoon against an Atlanta Hawks squad that has already beaten them once this season. It will also be interesting to see if Rose is pressed into action a little faster than the Bulls would have liked, given how poorly they played without him on Saturday.
Stat of the night: The Nets shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, outscoring the Bulls 59-45.
What's next: The Bulls hope to rebound Monday afternoon when they take on the Hawks.