A day after notching a victory in their season opener over the Eastern Conference champions, the Chicago Bulls followed it up with another win, easing past the Brooklyn Nets, 115-100, Wednesday night to start the new season at 2-0. It's an encouraging start for a team that changed its offensive system under new head coach Fred Hoiberg.
Like their tight win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, the Bulls' offense found their mark early on as they grabbed a 30-19 lead in their first road game of the season. And like the season opener, the Bulls’ starters were crucial, as all five scored in double-figures led by Jimmy Butler’s 24 points.
Nikola Mirotic finished with 18 points, while Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose added 16 and 15 points, respectively.
"It's only two games, we always have room to improve," Rose said to ESPN after the game. "Do I love the way that we played these two games? Of course. We had some ups and downs, but we've still got to get better."
Under former head coach Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls were known as a defensive team, which prefers low-scoring games rather than an up-tempo style. Under Hoiberg, the Bulls have averaged 106.0 points per game in the first two games of the season.
The Nets were led by Brook Lopez’s 26 points on 10-of-17 field goal shooting. Unlike the Bulls, Brooklyn couldn’t find other contributors with Joe Johnson missing 11 of his 15 shot attempts for 10 points and the other three starters combining for just 18 points on 9-of-23 field goals. Andrea Bargnani came off the bench to add 17 points for the Nets.
The Bulls take on the Detroit Pistons Friday in a battle between 2-0 teams. The Nets have two tough games ahead of them, with a date against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday and Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.