Frustration setting in for the Brooklyn Nets
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO – Frustration has taken over the Brooklyn Nets. Can’t make shots. Can’t solve the Chicago Bulls’ defense. Can’t win.
And Nets small forward Gerald Wallace is unclear of his role. This is no small problem after an 82-game season in which the Nets were 49-33 and finished as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
“I couldn’t tell you my role,” said Wallace, who is 3-of-15 in the past two games. “I don’t have a clue what my role is on this team.”
To a certain degree, Brooklyn interim coach P.J. Carlesimo understands the frustration.
“We’re going through a tough time right now,” he said. “That’s what the playoffs are all about. We’re all frustrated. I have to do a better job of constantly defining and redefining roles so we can perform the way we’re capable of.”
After an impressive Game 1 victory against the Bulls, the Nets have dropped two consecutive games and have been awful on offensive.
The Nets scored 106 points in Game 2 but scored 82 in a Game 2 loss and 76 in a Game 3 loss and trail the Bulls 2-1 in the best-of-7 series. Game 4 is Saturday (2 p.m. ET TNT).
Frustration runneth over in the ballroom of a fancy Chicago hotel on Michigan Avenue near Chicago’s trendy Miracle Mile.
Even with the ink barely dried on new extension made official Friday, Nets general manager Billy King was in a foul mood.
“A lot of it is better execution with the proviso as always that it’s not an accident that we’re having to do this better against these guys than we do against most teams because when you don’t space it well, when you don’t set solid screens and you don’t set sides of the floor against them you don’t score,” Carlesimo said. “Against other teams, you can overcome it. You don’t overcome it against a really good defensive team which obviously they are.”
It’s not a surprise Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau devised a defensive scheme to shut down Brooklyn. He is a brilliant defensive strategist and knows how to get his players to follow through on the game plan.