In the first NBA game on Christmas Day, the struggling Brooklyn Nets hosted the Chicago Bulls who were obviously without Derrick Rose as well as veteran Luol Deng. Both teams have had a rough start to the season, and a Christmas Day win on national television would be the perfect beginning to a turnaround. Well, after a blowout loss to the Bulls, maybe the Nets are just accepting losing at this point.
Chicago may have had some trouble offensively this season, but they still managed to put up 95 in Brooklyn without Deng. Defense hasn’t been a problem for the Bulls, however, and they put that on display Christmas afternoon only giving up 78 points on 35 percent shooting. Brooklyn did have some bright spots on offense with Deron Williams‘ 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting, Mirza Teletovic‘s 17 on 7-for-11 shooting, and Joe Johnson‘s 12 shooting 5-for-11 from the field, but four combined field goals off the bench is just not going to get the job done.
Chicago is dealing with yet another season without their leader in Rose, but they are still putting up a fight. Blowing out the Nets isn’t so impressive as everyone is doing it these days, but being in the L-eastern Conference, you’ve always got a shot to grab a playoff spot.
If the Bulls continue to play solid defense, the points will come along and maybe they can start stringing some wins together. But it’s hard to win games with all the injuries they’ve had to overcome even dating back to last season. As for the Nets, is there anything they can do to get something going? They do have plenty of All-Stars on their roster, but Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce‘s careers are almost at the end of the tunnel and they just have no chemistry whatsoever. By the time they build that chemistry to meet the expectations their owner has put on them, the season will be coming to an end. Just like Chicago, though, they are in the Eastern Conference and any sort of win streak can put them in the playoff race.
The NBA season is a marathon, not a race, and with the way things have been going out East either of these two teams could have a top 5 playoff spot in a matter of weeks.
Even without, Rose the Bulls 2013-14 schedule is very favorable against a weak Eastern Conference so don’t be surprised if they are one of the higher seeds come playoff time.