W2W4: Nets vs. Bulls
February, 1, 2013
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
The Brooklyn Nets will look to rebound following a 20-point loss to the defending champion Miami Heat when they take on the Chicago Bulls on Friday night at Barclays Center.
Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
BOUNCING BACK: The Nets were blown out of their own building by the Heat, 105-85. They were outscored 36-14 in the third quarter. Joe Johnson went just 4-for-15 from the floor, while Deron Williams, limited by flu-like symptoms, had six turnovers. The Bulls (28-17) are one of the surprise teams in the NBA, and the Nets (27-19) are going to have to come out and play a full 48-minute game to beat them. Brooklyn is just 10-19 against .500-or-better teams (at time of game played). Chicago is an Eastern Conference-best 13-6 on the road.
TAKING THE BULL BY THE HORNS: Derrick Rose hasn’t played a game yet this season due to injury. The Bulls obviously miss their superstar point guard, but have done just fine without him. Under coach Tom Thibodeau, Chicago ranks third in the league in points per game allowed (90.9). Nate Robinson (11.5 ppg, 44 fg pct) has stepped up in Rose’s absence. Second-year small forward Jimmy Butler (6.9 ppg, 50.7 fg pct) has also elevated his game. Chicago has held its last seven opponents under 90 points. The Bulls have won eight of their last 10.
GET IT TOGETHER: Gerald Wallace, who made some pretty pointed comments following the Heat game, averaged just 6.4 points on 42.6 percent shooting -- 33 percent from 3-point range -- in 13 January games. The Nets need more consistency out of Wallace at the small forward position.