EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams says he feels better today than he did on Wednesday night, when he battled flu-like symptoms and had six turnovers in his team’s 105-85 loss to the Miami Heat.
Williams and the Nets, who have lost three of their last four games, will try to turn it around tonight when they take on the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center.
“I think we’ll look to bounce back,” Williams said. “Like I said the other day, that one [against Miami] left a sour taste in our mouth, and hopefully we’ll come out and respond tonight against another tough opponent.”
The Nets took the lead, 53-51, briefly in the third quarter before the Heat took over. They outscored the Nets 36-14 in the quarter, turning a close game into a blowout.
“I don’t know why we’re losing so badly in these losses,” Williams said. “It just seemed like last game in the third quarter nothing went right for us. Everything went right for them and they kind of blew us out of the game.”
Nets small forward Gerald Wallace, who had several pointed comments after the game, said the team isn’t 20 points worse than the Heat.
“I don’t think so, but it’s hard to argue when they’ve beat us by 20 points every time,” Williams said. “We can play better against them. There’s no doubt about it.”
Williams also thinks the Nets can have a better attitude on the court -- himself included -- when they start losing. “It seems like we kind of just hang our heads when things start going bad instead of coming together a little bit more,” he said. “And a lot of that’s on me as a leader. We have a veteran team where we should be able to stay together instead of going our separate ways and start doing things on our own.”
Eight of Brooklyn’s 12 games in February will be against teams with winning records. The Nets are just 10-19 against .500-or-better teams (at time of game played).
“I think we’ve gotta just come out and play hard, that’s all,” Williams said. “These teams aren’t just going to lay down and quit for us. We have to be aggressive. We have to dictate pace.”
The Bulls (28-17) have a better record than the Nets (27-19) despite the fact that their superstar point guard, Derrick Rose, has yet to play a game this season due to injury. Chicago is an Eastern Conference-best 13-6 on the road and ranks third in the NBA in points allowed per game (90.9).
“This is the time where you really have to buckle down and try to position yourself for a good seed in the playoffs,” Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson said. “Tonight, we’re going to try to come out and make some sort of a statement.”