The Nets are 0-2 against the Bulls, and Wednesday’s game is the final time that the two teams will meet in the regular season. Brooklyn got the memo and played arguably one of its best first halves of basketball, and the team did so without Nic Claxton and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Steve Nash pulled a wild card and started rookies Kessler Edwards and Day’Ron Sharpe alongside Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving. However, the two youngsters fit right into the lineup, proving once again that Sean Marks did something special in the 2021 draft.
James Harden leads the Nets with 14 points (3-of-8 from the floor, 2-of-4 from the 3-point line), five rebounds, and four assists. After sitting out against the Blazers due to a left knee hyperextension, he’s playing aggressively and opening up opportunities on the offensive end.
Brooklyn Nets off to a hot start against the top team in the East.
Although Zach LaVine leads all scorers with 17 points, Brooklyn holds the 62-60 lead at the half. Both teams are shooting 50 percent from the floor, meaning that the game is going to likely be a shootout.
After losing five of their last seven games, the Nets look like a completely different team. Other than Harden, Patty Mills has been key to Brooklyn’s early success. He’s been in a slump recently but started out the game shooting 3-of-3 from the 3-point line for 11 points.
In order to beat a team like Chicago, the Nets need Mills’ hot hand. And Mills was able to knock down big shots in the first half because Brooklyn moved the ball around and didn’t settle for bad shots.
Oh, and the Nets are still up by two points even though Irving is off to a rocky start. He didn’t knock down his first shot of the game until the second quarter, and is 3-of-8 for 7 points. If he starts to hit more shots in the second half, the Bulls are going to be in trouble.
Brooklyn needs to maintain the high intensity and not let its foot off the gas, especially against a team like the Bulls.
For now, though, for the first time in a few weeks, the Nets look like the team that was named the league’s preseason title favorites.
Will Brooklyn be able to earn its first win against a top-8 team? Stay tuned.