Saturday, March 2, 2013
W2W4: Nets at Bulls
By Mike Mazzeo
The Brooklyn Nets will try to bounce back from their loss to the Dallas Mavericks when they take on the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night in the second half of a back-to-back. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.; here’s what we’ll be watching for:
MORE JOE? Joe Johnson was rusty in his return Friday night after missing the previous three games due to a sore left heel; Johnson had 11 points in 29 minutes. The 31-year-old shooting guard felt like he could’ve played more than 3 1/2 minutes in the fourth quarter, but interim coach P.J. Carlesimo didn’t want to push him too hard with the Nets trailing by 20 to the Mavs. Will Johnson be back to playing his usual 38 or so minutes on Saturday night?
TAKING CARE OF THE ROCK: The Nets had 20 turnovers as a team in Friday night’s 98-90 loss to Dallas. Deron Williams had seven of them -- and has 25 since the All-Star break. Williams has played well during that six-game span (23 points on 45 percent shooting), but must cut down on his miscues.
AVOIDING A THIRD BEATING: The Nets were outscored 29-14 in the third quarter by Dallas. They have been outscored by 10 or more points in 13 third quarters this season (5-8 in those games).
GRINDING IT OUT: Both the Nets and Bulls like to play grind-it-out basketball. Chicago has averaged just 85.7 points in its last seven games. The Bulls are third in the NBA in points allowed (91.3 per game). Chicago center Joakim Noah is coming off a ridiculous 23-point, 21-rebound, 11-block triple-double performance on Thursday night.