Jim Mancari, SNYNets.com
The Nets managed a double-overtime win Friday night against the Detroit Pistons. The players were very excited after the win, but there was a major problem: The team had to immediately get on a plane and head to Chicago for a Saturday night matchup with the Bulls
Brooklyn looked sluggish from the very beginning, resulting in an 83-82 loss to the Bulls. The Bulls played the game on two full days rest, so even without Derrick Rose, Rip Hamilton and Kirk Hinrich, Chicago had the advantage.
The Nets should definitely be able to beat the Bulls without Rose. In fact, even with Rose, it would have been a game the Nets could have won.
But the game against the Pistons took all the wind out of the Nets' sails.
Even before it started, Friday's nights game was a trap game for the Nets. They fought back Wednesday against the Raptors after a tough loss Tuesday to the Knicks.
Nets players of course weren't looking ahead to the Bulls game with the Pistons coming into town, but the thought of earning a win against one of the conference’s better teams in the Bulls would have been a boost of confidence after the recent skid.
But since the Pistons' game went into double overtime, the Nets lacked the energy they would have needed to earn a road win in Chicago.
A casual NBA fan may think that fatigue shouldn't be an issue for players who are in such great shape. But in addition to being a physical battle, Friday night's contest was also a mentally draining game, since the Nets needed to stay focused during crunch time.
This week, the Nets will have back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Jazz and Knicks, respectively, before enjoying three full days off. These last two off days were likely very beneficial to the squad as well.
A healthy, well-rested Nets team can be dangerous, but the problem is that we haven't seen that for a while.