Brooklyn Nets 3 Takeaways From Historic Win Over Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls will be wringing their jerseys out for hours after the Brooklyn Nets soaked them from the second quarter onwards because when it rains, it pours. For the fifth time this season, the good guys played on home court and prevailed 118-109 to tie the score at 8-8 overall.

The Nets faced their fair share of obstacles before charging towards the finish line. The first one happened before tipoff, as Nic Claxton’s ankle sprain forced him out of the game about an hour beforehand. For the fifth time this year, Royce O’Neale got the start in his place.

Chicago then leaped out to a 22-3 lead to begin the game, shooting 8=of-11 on field goals. Brooklyn started a less impressive 1-of-10 from the field.

A rough start to say the least, but the Nets later found their stride and eventually escaped this back-to-back sequence with two victories. For all the fun in between, check in on our game recap. For a few key takeaways from the contest, look no further.

Holy S**t Does this Team Love the Three

When Jessie Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg asks Andrew Garfield, who plays Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, if he stole the idea from the Winklevoss twins to create Facebook, it’s one of my favorite lines from The Social Network. “They came to me with an idea…I had a better one,” was Eisenberg’s succinct response.

That’s pretty much what the Brooklyn Nets did in their game against the Chicago Bulls tonight. Following Chicago’s explosive 8-of-12 start to the game from beyond the arc, the Nets essentially adopted Chicago’s idea, improved it, and made it their own.

The Nets came out in the second period and nailed a league record 11 triples on 16 attempts. The teams small-ball spacing opened up the floodgates and the Bulls got swallowed up like a bug in a drain.

It was an impressive, but necessary explosion, as the Nets had started the game 1-of-7 from deep.

Lonnie Walker IV responded, “Nah, not that I can really think of,” when asked if he had ever witnessed a shooting turnaround like Brooklyn’s this evening. There came a moment when I thought, “Damn,” After Royce hit a three, I turned to Mikal, and he was like, “Oh my goodness, this is crazy.” That we kind of figured that out pleases me. We had a great time working as a team on that.

After shooting 25 of 53 from beyond the arc in the game’s conclusion, Brooklyn hit the second-most free throws in the team’s history (27 against SAC on 2/15/21). Though it’s not quite the same as turning a college idea into a $800 billion or more company, you’ll take it nonetheless.

Yesterday, I was proud of Brooklynn’s ability to hunt and make corner threes. However, they delivered an even more impressive encore tonight, hitting 9 of 11 from the corner. Throughout the entire evening, Spencer Dinwiddie was dominating the driving and kicking game while Chicago switched up their defensive tactics. He recorded a game-high seven assists in the end.

In terms of triples attempted and made, Brooklyn is currently among the top six teams. Although their relationship with the 3-ball has been known for some time, they launched it as hard as you’ll ever see tonight.

Sunday Scaries Are Cured?

Brooklyn had already played two Sunday matinees this season going into this one. They shot.419/.299 and averaged 100.5 points per game in those two games, despite splitting them. That’s a -14.8 scoring differential, a -5.3 field goal percentage differential, and a -9.3 three point percentage differential when compared to their overall season statistics.

Just two games, sure. But those are significant drop offs.

Apparently, the Pedialyte was being distributed throughout the changing area today. Chicago was defeated by the Nets by 118 points. They hit from long range at a 37.5% clip on their historic night of 3-point shooting. They also had a strong 48.2% field goal percentage.

Since Brooklyn’s previous two games started in the mid-to-late afternoon, one could blame tonight’s 7:30 start time for the team’s Sunday outburst. But since today’s match was the second of a back-to-back, rest may not have been as important as you might have thought.

I’ve heard NBA fans complain about their teams putting out Sunday snoozers for years on end, so Brooklyn’s push back against that notion is something to appreciate. It won’t be until over a month from now, but they’ll face a strong opponent as they try to keep it up with their next Sunday matchup coming on the road vs the reborn Oklahoma City Thunder.

Day’Ron Passing More Tests

It seemed inevitable that Day’Ron Sharpe would get more burn tonight with Nic Claxton out. Sharpe lived up to the expectation, playing a season-high 27 minutes, even as the Nets dominated the Bulls with their shooting via small ball attack.

The third-year player from North Carolina didn’t exactly fit neatly into a flashy box score. In the end, he had three assists, nine rebounds, nine points, and one blocked shot. He did, however, deliver a few strong sequences that shifted the momentum of the game.

At the end, Sharpe had a game-high +31. Whatever you think of plus or minus, a number that big has to mean something. In ways that were less typical of his style of play as a roller/rebounder, we witnessed him making an impact.

Court vision was on display early. One of Sharpe’s three assists came after whipping the ball to Mikal Bridges in the corner even as multiple Chicago defenders huddled around on him. The shot gave Brooklyn their first lead of the game after previously starring an abominable deficit in the face.

Although Sharpe has never impressed me as a man who lacks the guts to go after lost balls, he undoubtedly made an impression on me tonight as a man who will in the future. Are steel tips and hard hats back in style?

At one point in Brooklyn’s comeback, Sharpe wrestled the ball away from Chicago off the glass and went down for a loose ball. After he freed the ball, it eventually swung to O’Neale, who made a three-point shot. Chicago’s lead was reduced to single digits by that triple. Although these plays are not recorded in the box score, they are comparable to significant game-changing events.

Andre Drummond and Nikola Vucevic are two very different kinds of centers, so Sharpe held his own there as well. The big men for Chicago shot 4-of-11 overall the game and committed four turnovers.

Needless to say, Sharpe did not keep Drummond and Vuc safe from buzzer to buzzer. Once again, Dorian-Finney Smith performed admirably as a small ball big. Even so, Sharpe merits recognition for his 27 minutes of work against them, given that each poses a unique set of challenges.

Though it’s early, Sharpe appears to be close to making the third-year leap that the Nets anticipate from him this season. Perhaps the notorious Brooklyn backup center story is finally coming to an end.

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