The Chicago Bulls head to Barclays for the Nets second home game in a row. Brooklyn will be looking to make it two wins a row and extend their winning form they’ve had on their home court. Here are a few things to look for in the contest.
Caris LeVert’s return is going to bring even more life to a growing franchise. The physical and mental hurdles he has had to endure over his young career are even more reason to admire the budding guard.
No doubt the Nets medical and coaching staff will ease the 24-year-old back in, likely in a bench role and a gradual minutes increase. Like many others, Coach Atkinson is giddy about his return.
“He’s in. How he recovered today and looked and feel like the build-up’s sufficient. Most importantly, he’s ready to go. He really came up to me, ‘I’m ready.’ That’s the most important thing.”
“He’s that impactful a player we’ll have to adjust to him and he’ll have to adjust to us. Because he’s such a good guy, a team guy, I think it will be seamless.”
I’m ready, and I can’t wait.
Maintaining Defensive Consistency
It’s funny with the amount of offensive explosions this team has had this season that they rank equally on both ends of the floor overall. The cliche that defense wins games rings true for this squad as they feed off the energy on that end of the floor and with a healthier squad at Kenny’s disposal he’s as confident as ever.
“It’s guys buying into what we’re doing. Like I said, there’s moments this season where your offense has struggled or your defense has struggled. Our habits are established right now. Guys really understand what we’re doing. I think getting (Treveon Graham) back has also been huge.”
Chicago might be a lesser opponent on paper but defensive engagement remains important no who the opponent is. If they can lock down the likes of LaVine, Markkanen and newly acquired Otto Porter Jr. it’ll help the Brooklyn net the result they want.
Otto Porter earned himself a significant contract extension thanks in large part to the initial offer sheet Sean Marks sent his way. The offer forced Washington to match the deal, making the wing a very wealthy man. His form this season form hasn’t warranted the money he’s on. That doesn’t take away from the fact he’s an intriguing fit in a young Bulls frontcourt. Chicago coach, Jim Boylen is excited to have him on the roster.
“To me, Otto Porter is what the league is — 6-6 to 6-8, multiposition defender, can ‘3 and D,’ has got playoff experience. He can fit into what we’re doing.”
Expect a big performance from the former Wizard as he looks to make a name for himself on his new team.