Nets-Bulls: N.J. Can't Run with Playoff-Bound Chicago

Danny PaskasSenior Analyst IApril 4, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 27:  Vince Carter #15 of the New Jersey Nets watches on against the Los Angeles Lakers during their game on March 27, 2009 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Nets hung tough for the most part against the Playoff-bound Chicago Bulls on Sunday. But the latter is playing so tough that they may even take over the seventh spot by the end of the day if the fading Detroit Pistons come up with a loss.

Saturday afternoon's was a strange game, and the Nets never held a lead until very late in the fourth quarter. They did, however, find a way to fight back behind strong performances from Brook Lopez, Keyon Dooling, Ryan Anderson, and Jarvis Hayes. Chris Douglas-Roberts also provided a spark off the bench.

Devin Harris also played well, scoring 14 points, dishing out five assists, pulling down eight rebounds, and coming up with three steals.

Though he seemed to have a good game going, Nets coach Lawrence Frank sat him most of the fourth quarter. Let's just say that when the camera showed Devin's expression on the bench, he wasn't all smiles.

But the real problem for New Jersey was Vince Carter’s performance (or lack thereof). He seemed lackadaisical and indifferent, practically absent entirely, as he finished the game on the bench after going two-for-ten on the day. Four of his ten attempts were taken from behind the three-point line, and he missed all of those.

The turning point of the game came when Harris committed a flagrant foul on Bulls guard John Salmons during a breakaway late in the fourth. The call was questionable, and Harris was not head hunting; he just wrapped him a bit high. Regardless, that was the game.

Even with the loss, the Nets can walk away slightly satisfied (except for ole "Vinsanity," that is). It was the rookies who looked to be the leaders of the team today. If Brook Lopez, Ryan Anderson, and Chris Douglas-Roberts are the future of this team, then it is a bright one.

Assuming they stay on this track, imagine what they are going to gain with experience.


Just a few side notes: Ryan Anderson should be the starter. The Yi Jianlian experiment looks like a failure.

Is there really any doubt that both Lawrence Frank, with his head scratching decision making, and Vince Carter, with his disappearing act, should be gone during the offseason?

Regarding the Bulls, they're going to be good. They are scary deep and could make some noise in the Playoffs this year (and if not, definitely in 2010).

And finally, is there any argument as to who has the worst tattoos in the NBA? It's Brad Miller.