Despite the Chicago Bulls coming into Sunday’s matchup on a six-game losing streak, the Brooklyn Nets knew that it would not be easy to come out of the United Center with a win. Brooklyn was without two of their All-Stars in James Harden and Kevin Durant as both stars are nursing hamstring injuries.
Nets star Kyrie Irving had 24 points and 15 assists but shot just 12-27 from the field as the Nets fell to the Bulls 107-115 on Sunday. Brooklyn is playing their first game of a back-to-back as they will take on the New York Knicks on Monday. This year’s NBA schedule is indeed condensed and Kyrie is starting to feel the effects.
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Kyrie Not Feeling Shortened NBA Schedule
“As players going out there to prepare it would have been nice to have more of a grace period in the morning to get on the court to prepare the way that we prepare at home. We had 115 minutes to prepare for the game as a team, we had 115 minutes to prepare for the game before anybody could get on the court it’s just like unheard of,” Kyrie said to reporters via YES.
The Nets just came off a back-to-back after playing the Houston Rockets and Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. Players have a lack of time to prepare in this shortened NBA season and everyone is just trying to adjust.
“I’m usually at the arena three and a half hours, two and a half hours to get locked in as well as my teammates it’s just one of those weird games where everybody’s schedule is off,” Irving continued.
“And it’s an early game as it is, it’s Easter for some people and we’re playing basketball on this day, so It took us just a little bit longer to get it going, to get it revved up and it cost us.”
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 4, 2021
Griffin and Aldridge Carried Nets Early
The Nets’ two newest acquisitions Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge carried the Nets in the first quarter as they combined for 13 points in route to a 28-25 lead over the Bulls. One of the Bulls’ newest acquisitions Daniel Theis however, had an answer as he netted 8 points for Chicago in the opening quarter.
The Nets led 39-37 in the second quarter and then would go on to get outscored 39-13 by Chicago. It was one of the worst performances by the Nets this season on both sides of the ball.
Brooklyn would trail by as many as seventeen points but got back in the game after a big 10-point fourth quarter from Irving.
The Nets trailed by seven points with 1:33 to go and had a chance to cut the lead even more. However, they allowed the Bulls to retrieve an offensive rebound which led to Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine hitting a three to put the Bulls up by 10 which was ultimately the dagger.
Tyler Johnson & Landry Shamet Suffered Injuries
The Nets suffered major losses during Sunday’s game against the Bulls. Tyler Johnson suffered a scary non-contact injury in the fourth quarter and could not put any weight on his right leg as he was helped to the locker room. He did not return to the game. The Nets are calling it a right knee strain.
Johnson has been a key piece for the Nets bench. On the season he is averaging 5.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 0.9 assists in 30 games for the Nets this year.
Nets guard Landry Shamet also had to leave Sunday’s game after he landed awkwardly in the fourth quarter. Shamet just recently returned from an ankle injury he suffered against the Washington Wizards on March 21.
Nash says Tyler Johnson will get a scan tomorrow. No other updates on he or Shamet. #Nets
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) April 4, 2021
Despite the shortened schedule the Nets have to just roll with the punches. Everyone came into this season knowing it would be condensed and it is just something that players have to learn to deal with at this point.