Photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune

How To Net The W: Brooklyn Nets vs Chicago Bulls 1/29/19

The Brooklyn Nets look to kickstart a new winning streak as they take on the Chicago Bulls at home. Coming off a loss against Boston away from home, the Nets will be motivated to get back on the winners’ list as they look to cement a spot in the top 8 of the Eastern Conference standings. Here’s a look at how they can secure the W.

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Managing Rotations

Every team is experiencing injuries around the league. However, the Nets injury list is on another level. Joe Harris played against Boston after being listed as questionable, though he only notched 19 minutes; his least playing time in a game this season. Coach Atkinson remarked on the battered squad following the Celtics matchup.

“We’re a little fatigued right now. This is fatigue time in the NBA, so everybody is fatigued. But we’re feeling it, quite honestly. We’re just going to manage that the best we can.”

How Kenny disperses the minutes load is going to be key in getting the best out of his players on the end of a back-to-back. Luckily no one racked up more than 28 mins (DeMarre Carroll) in the contest with Boston and only five players played 25 mins or more.

That should leave most guys relatively fresh and the hopeful return of Treveon Graham should help disperse the load even further.

A Firing Russell

D’Angelo Russell has been playing like an All-Star the last month or so. Against the Celtics, while he was hot offensively, Atkinson wasn’t pleased with his effort in other areas.

“I felt like there were a couple of rebounds he could have gotten. Teachable moment. Then I thought the subs were playing good, so I kept it that way, also with it in mind that we’ve got another game [Tuesday] night. All that played a factor.”

Russell should be fresh and primed for a big outing against Chicago after only playing 24 minutes in his previous matchup. The last time D’Lo came up against the Bulls on January 6 he was superb.

Russell is a key in all games but with a tough stretch coming up, the Nets need him to fire now more than ever to bank this win.

Points In The Restricted Area and Passing

Attacking the paint with purpose has been a cornerstone of the Nets offense this season. Against Boston that element of their game was off, as Atkinson iterated.

“We were (in the) 32 percentile at the rim, I assume, just not good enough.”

They were outscored 56-44 against the Celtics in the paint and lost the assist battle 29-20. Brooklyn’s offense is best when the ball and man is in motion. It opens the lane for easier buckets as well as quality looks from deep.

With Spencer Dinwiddie out for another month or so they’re going to have to make the required adjustments that have led to good looks in the paint and open shots for the team. Dinwiddie is a key part in that so Russell, Napier and Pinson will be forced to step up in that area.