The Nets suffered their first home loss under P.J. Carlesimo Wednesday to the Miami Heat and have now lost three of their last four games.
Still without Derrick Rose, the Bulls are one of the league’s hottest teams having won eight of their last 10 games.
Bulls Great on the Road
The Bulls are the best road team in the Eastern Conference with a record of 13-6 away from the United Center.
Chicago also finished 6-1 on the road during the month of January. The team is currently in the midst of a six-game road trip.
But it’s a new month, and Brooklyn needs to get back on track with a home win over a good team.
Depth Paying Off for Bulls
With Rose out, the Bulls’ offense mainly flows through All-Stars Luol Deng and Joakim Noah.
But Deng missed five games recently, allowing reserves Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler to make an impact.
Butler especially has been great. The small forward has averaged 15.4 points and 7.9 rebounds in the last seven games while only recording five turnovers.
Robinson has scored in double figures in eight straight games and has averaged 20.0 points in the last four.
In the last matchup between these teams – an 83-82 Bulls’ win – Marco Belinelli had the hot hand with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
Third Quarter Woes
The Nets expended so much energy in the second quarter closing a 10-point deficit against the Heat Wednesday night that the team had another terrible third quarter.
Brooklyn was outscored 36-14 in third en route to a blowout loss.
The Bulls may not have the scoring potential of the Heat, but the Nets cannot let this game get out of hand.
In the last matchup, the Nets played from behind the entire second half but had a chance to win on a Deron Williams three-pointer.
Brooklyn actually outscored Chicago 20-16 in the fourth quarter last time.
The Nets are still trying to cement their mark in the league against teams .500 or better.
They’ve handled all the sub-.500 teams very well (17-0) but have managed just a 10-19 mark against good teams.
Before being considered as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, Brooklyn needs to show that it can consistently defeat tougher competition.
Wednesday night’s test was a complete failure, but the Nets luckily have an immediate chance to rebound tonight against the Bulls.
The action tips off at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on the YES Network and NBA TV.