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Nets-Bulls Preview 2009-12-08 News New Jersey Nets

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News » Nets-Bulls Preview 2009-12-08

Nets-Bulls Preview 2009-12-08

Nets-Bulls Preview 2009-12-08Joakim Noah and the Chicago Bulls have lost seven of eight, and their frustration appears to finally be boiling over.

The Bulls try for a badly needed victory when they host the NBA-worst New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night.

Chicago (7-11) has dropped seven of eight after opening the season 6-4. The Bulls lost again Friday, 101-87 at Cleveland, and Noah became enraged at LeBron James, who danced along the sidelines during play while he was on the bench.

The Bulls' big man confronted the superstar when James re-entered the game and accused him of showing up his struggling team.

Coach Vinny Del Negro liked seeing Noah, emerging as an emotional leader, stand up to James.

"I was happy for Joakim," Del Negro said. "I thought it was the right thing. Everybody was feeling the same way, I think. But we have to play better and not put ourselves in that situation."

Things didn't get any better for Chicago the following night, as it lost 110-78 to Toronto. The Bulls shot a season-low 39.0 percent from the field and made four of 20 3-pointers.

Noah, averaging 10.8 points and a team-high 11.8 rebounds, drew the ire of Del Negro this time after picking up two technical fouls for arguing with officials in the third quarter. He had nine points and seven rebounds when he was ejected.

"He has to control his emotions," Del Negro said. "We've talked about this, not just with Joakim, but with other players. He has to understand how important it is that he is on the floor with us."

Noah and the Bulls are hoping for an easier time against the Nets (1-19). Chicago won six of the last seven meetings at the United Center, including four in a row by an average of 16.3 points.

The Bulls took three of four from New Jersey last season.

The Nets appeared to be headed for a second consecutive victory Sunday, leading New York by 13 in the second quarter, but lost 106-97. The defeat followed a 97-91 win over Charlotte on Friday that halted the worst start in league history.

"We lost a little bit of focus," said interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe, who is also the general manager. "We have to remember that every team, when we lose a little bit of focus, they're going to capitalize on it. It's a good lesson for us."

Vandeweghe has the Nets playing a quicker tempo, and they shot 58.0 percent and scored a season-best 61 points in the first half against the Knicks. However, they are the lowest-scoring team in the league at 87.6 points per game and are shooting an NBA-worst 41.0 percent.

Chris Douglas-Roberts will be looking for some consistency after making 12 of 19 shots for 26 points Sunday, which followed a 4-for-11, eight-point performance against the Bobcats.

The swingman topped 20 points in three of the last five games, but followed up two of those contests with single-digit scoring performances.

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Added: December 8, 2009


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