New Jersey Nets Status Check:
Home Record: 6-9
Last game: Lost 103-88 @ Minnesota
Last 10 Games: 3-7
PPG: 92.3 (29th)
Opponents PPG: 98.2 (16th)
Offensive Rating: 101.2 (27th)
Defensive Rating: 107.7 (18th)
Pace: 89.8 (27th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .467 (28th)
Turnover Percentage: .141 (20th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .750 (9th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .248 (22nd)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .247 (7th)
Opp. eFG%: .494 (13th)
Opp. TO%: .122 (30th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .245 (20st)
Leading scorer: Brook Lopez (18.9 PPG)
Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.
Nets Injury Report:
Anthony Morrow: Out with a strained right hamstring
Damion Jones: Out due to right foot surgery
Jordan Farmar: Questionable with a bone bruise in right knee
Troy Murphy: Questionable with flue-like symptoms
The Nets have the fourth-worst record in the league and the third-worst point differential (-5.9) in the Eastern Conference. They’ve lost 14 of their last 17 games, a stretch that included an eight-game losing streak and their current five-game losing streak. During their current five-game skid, the Nets have been outscored by 75 points.
The Bulls contributed to New Jersey’s recent misery with a poorly-played 90-81 win on New Year’s Eve. It was an ugly game in which Chicago shot 39 percent and got outrebounded. Fortunately for the Bulls, the Nets also shot 39 percent (including 3-for-13 from downtown) and committed 16 turnovers.
Still, Chicago will have to play better tonight than they did on the final day of 2010 if they want to win on the road on the second night of back-to-back games.
The Bulls may be the league’s hottest team not located in Miami, having won five straight and 14 of 6 overall. But now I have to hit you with an ugly fact: Chicago has lost 18 of their last 20 games in New Jersey.
Plus, for whatever reason, the Nets play the Bulls tough. Last season, during which the Nets won 12 games and took their place among the league’s all-time worst teams…yet they beat the Bulls twice.
Chicago’s bench really came through against the Raptors last night — 52 points, 26 rebounds, 11 assists — which allowed Derrick Rose (29 minutes) and Carlos Boozer (24 minutes) to rest during the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, Luol Deng still logged 40 minutes, so I’m not sure how fresh he’ll be.
The Nets are rested and they’re at home. This makes them dangerous. But the Bulls are 18-1 against sub-.500 teams and have really been taking care of business this season. Hopefully, they’ll be able to do that tonight.
Random: During his career, Derrick Rose has played eight games against the Nets, averaging 18.1 PPG, 7.9 APG and 4.8 RPG. Carlos Boozer has faced the Nets 14 times, averaging 16.7 PPG (on 58 percent shooting) and 9.3 RPG.