Bulls not about to look past Nets (1-19)

Published12/8/2009 12:01 AM

If misery loves company, the Bulls should be overjoyed with their schedule.

Fresh off an alarming 32-point home loss to Toronto, the Bulls will host the New Jersey Nets, a team that made NBA history last week. The Nets set a league record for futility with an 0-18 start before finally beating Charlotte last Friday.


New Jersey followed up with a loss to the Knicks on Sunday, so their 1-19 record is at least tied for the worst 20-game start ever.

"I can't worry about their problems," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I have enough of my own."

Guard Derrick Rose pointed out that if the Bulls can get crushed at home by a sub-. 500 Raptors team, they can't afford to take any opponent lightly.

"Last game was embarrassing," Rose said. "I don't think we'll ever play like that again."

The Nets rank last in the league in points per game (87.6), field-goal percentage (. 410), 3-point percentage (. 281) and assists per game (16.3). The Bulls have dropped seven of their last eight and scored 100 points just once all season.

"Our team's going to pull together," rookie James Johnson said. "We had a tough practice today. A lot people were making a lot of shots today. So you can tell the people who have been in getting extra work are not satisfied with the loss we had."

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Time to tie shoes: In a video making the rounds on the Internet, the Bulls seem to give new meaning to the term lax defense.

At some point in the game - it got out of hand so early, no one was paying much attention - Toronto guard Jarrett Jack caught a pass and while Bulls defenders Luol Deng and Jannero Pargo look on, Jack reaches down and ties his shoe with the ball still in his hand.

The play had zero effect on the game's outcome, but it did sort of resemble the bullfighter who is so certain he's demoralized his opponent, he turns his back on the animal.

"That was embarrassing," Derrick Rose said. "I probably would have fouled him or something."

Coach Vinny Del Negro had a slightly different take: "After watching the film, Luol and Jannero Pargo were trying to make a (defensive) exchange there so we could match up a little bit. Luol turned his head as Jack was doing that. That's not acceptable, but it was also a unique situation."

Bull horns: Guard Kirk Hinrich did not practice Monday and doesn't seem likely to return from a sprained left thumb until at least Friday when the Bulls host Golden State. - Joakim Noah was fined $15,000 for punching the ball and hitting a courtside photographer with it during Saturday's loss to Toronto. The incident resulted in Noah's second technical foul of the night and an ejection. - The Bulls hosted their annual holiday party Monday, inviting 100 young CHA residents and kids with a parent currently stationed overseas to the Berto Center.


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