After a convincing 17-point victory in game 1, things slowed down significantly in game 2. Nets were held to just 82 points, while shooting an abysmal 35.4% from the field. Carlesimo said:
“We get caught with some tough matchups. Their defense was very good, our execution was not as good as it needs to be. We were taking the ball out of bounds or out of the net too many times.”
“We didn’t win the battle in the paint. Not finishing in the paint and shooting what we shot, with so much of it coming in the paint it was a big problem.”
The Nets shot 15-35 in the paint, but it was only part of their problems. Joe Johnson and Deron Williams both struggled mightily. Williams shot 1-9 from the field, while Johnson was 6-18. Collectively, Brooklyn struggled from beyond the arc as well, shooting 4-21, which equals just 19%.
While a lot of the Nets’ shots were simply not falling, Carlesimo is right in commending Chicago’s defense. Joakim Noah played more minutes and his presence was felt all over the floor. Other than overall good play, the Bulls’ defensive anchor came up with a key block on Brook Lopez down the stretch.
Tom Thibodeau gets his guys to play extremely hard on the defensive end, which is something Carlesimo and the Nets will have to take into account as they make adjustments for game 3.