Their first possession of the season resulted in a turnover. They clanked their initial four shots. They yielded the game's first seven points and coach Lionel Hollins burned a pair of timeouts to quell the craziness.
Sure didn't take long to figure out it wasn't going to be the Nets' night.
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Save for a couple of brief flashes in the second and fourth quarters, when they scrapped their way back into it, the Nets were really no match for the Bulls Wednesday night. They struggled shooting the ball and were extremely inconsistent defensively, leading to a 115-100 loss in their season opener before a sellout crowd of 17,732 at Barclays Center.
"You definitely don't want to come out the way we did," Thaddeus Young said. "We started out very cold, turned the ball over, we didn't make shots. And it just kind of went on throughout the game. We kept pushing. We made a few runs to get back in the game, but it wasn't enough."
Brook Lopez led the Nets (0-1) with 26 points and seven rebounds. Andrea Bargnani, making his debut after sitting out the preseason with a tight hamstring, had 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Jimmy Butler paced the Bulls (2-0) with 24 points. Nikola Mirotic had 18 points and nine rebounds, Pau Gasol chipped in 16 points and nine rebounds and Derrick Rose posted 15 points for Chicago.
Here's a bad omen for the Nets: They misfired on all nine attempts beyond the arc, failing to connect on a three-pointer in a game for the first time since 2009. That was the same season the Nets finished with a brutal 12-70 mark, serving as a bottom feeder that teams feasted on.
A 41.9 percent showing from the floor wasn't going to get it done against the Bulls and the Nets were particularly atrocious in the first and third quarters, connecting on just 14 of 51 attempts combined and getting outscored 58-35 in those two quarters.
"You have to make shots," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "You have to make layups, you have to make mid-range shots, you have to make shots in the paint. Thirty-nine for 93, we didn't make them anywhere."
With expected starter Jarrett Jack sitting out because of a sore hamstring, Hollins inserted Shane Larkin into the point guard spot to tip things off, placing him alongside Wayne Ellington, Joe Johnson, Young and Lopez at the game's outset.
But Larkin struggled so badly at times that he was yanked for Donald Sloan early in the third quarter, when the game was still within reach. Although his eight assists matched a career high, he shot just 3 for 8 from the floor and was generally ineffective, getting outworked by Rose.
"I did all right out there," Larkin said. "I didn't shoot the ball well. I had a bunch of open looks that I didn't knock down that I usually knock down. I think it's just getting back into game shape. We hadn't played in nine days, so game speed in the NBA is much faster than practice. "I'm not making any excuses for myself or the team. But we've just got to make shots. We had a lot of shots that we usually make that we didn't make tonight and that kind of hurt us."Correcting their mistakes and making sure they transfer what they do in practice over to the games is their challenge now and they need to get things fixed rather quickly. The Nets are embarking on a stretch where they will play 11 of their next 15 contests on the road, including match ups with the Spurs and Grizzlies on consecutive nights beginning Friday night.
"It don't get any easier," said Joe Johnson, who went 4-for-15 from the field. "Obviously, we wanted this home opener, but now we've got to go out on the road and try to get one in San Antonio."