Home Sports Nets Slapped With Stark Reminder In Bulls Blowout – Billionschannel

Nets Slapped With Stark Reminder In Bulls Blowout – Billionschannel

Nets Slapped With Stark Reminder In Bulls Blowout – Billionschannel


Brooklyn Nets fans became accustomed to offensive brilliance throughout Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s time with the franchise. Regardless of the ups and downs (there were plenty of them), fans could expect to see a show when turning on the television any given night.

With Durant and Irving out the door, those fans were smacked with a harsh reality check Friday night. The Nets turned in their worst offensive performance of the season in a 131-87 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Brooklyn scored 29 points on 10-of-41 (24.4 percent) shooting in the first half, tying the lowest scoring total by any team in a half this season.

The abysmal offensive showing is a jarring reminder of the star power Brooklyn lacks following an eventful trade deadline. The Nets find themselves battling to avoid the play-in, but even the teams alongside them in the middle of the pack boast at least one star name. Miami has Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, Atlanta has Trae Young, Toronto has Pascal Siakam, Chicago has Demar DeRozan and Zach Lavine, and Washington has Bradley Beal.

The Nets are headlined by Mikal Bridges and Spencer Dinwiddie. Bridges is a step below a star with room to grow and Dinwiddie can fill it up on the right night, but neither has been the lead man in an offense throughout their careers. And that’s where Brooklyn stands. They are a deep team with far too many duplicate pieces. It’s a reality that will lead to more pedestrian offensive showings. It’s also what made general manager Sean Marks not selling more pieces at the deadline so puzzling.

Following the season-worst blowout Friday, head coach Jacque Vaughn said his team’s path to winning without stars is simple: they have to play harder.

“This is not going to be a one-man show. We don’t have the one-man show. It’s gonna be a collective unit and we’ve got to understand that and approach the game that way.” Vaughn said. “Just have to play with a nastiness about us in all honestly to set an aggressive tone. We just have to play that way. So it’s an unfortunate lesson for us.”

That extra effort can manifest in several ways. Traditionally, hustle is often measured on the defensive end. But Vaugh said the Nets will have to make subtle effort plays offensively to be successful.

“Sometimes you’re gonna have to make an unselfish play,” Vaughn said of his team’s offense. “It might take you running from the corner all the way to the top to set a screen as a small or a big. The multiple efforts everyone talks about (usually) come on the defensive end of the floor, but for us it’s gonna come on the offensive end of the floor.

So I might be a decoy, I might just have to run into a play to create some sort of momentum for our group where I might not get the rock. We have to be ok with that. So it’s the multiple efforts on the offensive end of the floor that we’re gonna have to work on.”

Dinwiddie and Bridges both acknowledged the growing pains of Brooklyn’s newfound offense by committee postgame but recognized that time is not on their side with the playoffs approaching.

“We understand that we’re fighting an uphill battle in this but we’re still pros and we have a job to do,” Dinwiddie said. “You can’t make excuses. You got to go out there and play the game… I don’t care if we just met yesterday, 40 points are unacceptable. It’s as simple as that.”

‘This is our fourth game together. It’s tough,” Bridges said. “But we don’t have time on our hands honestly. There’s 20-something games left, so we have to find who we are rapidly. It’s going to be a challenge. That’s how life is. We just have to adjust faster than usual and get ready for the next game.”

The NBA is a star’s league more than ever before. After trading away three in the last year, Brooklyn doesn’t have a clear path to obtaining another. They don’t own their own draft pick until 2028, so tanking does them no good. They do have a stockpile of draft ammunition to offer up for the next disgruntled star, but it’s unclear who that will be.

That uncertainty is what made the decision to trade Durant, the greatest player to ever don a Nets uniform, so difficult. Brooklyn still has a solid chance to qualify for the playoffs, but that’s suddenly the ceiling when it used to be the floor. And it’s tough to say how or when that will change.


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