clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bulls vs. Wizards video: Nene is going right at Joakim Noah

the Defensive Player of the Year is in a hell of a matchup

Friend of the site Coach Nick from BBallBreakdown went deep into Nene's first two games of the series, as you can see in the attached video.

What's interesting here is that the problem Nene is posing is partially schemed for: the Bulls defense, by design, plays the pick and roll to allow for a big man to take a mid-range jumper.

Some of these are a bit too wide open, of course. But while Nene is a really good midrange shooter this is still a desirable process from the Bulls standpoint. It's just not working out since the Wizards big man has been shooting great. Some of these looks, including a huge one in OT of game two, is with Noah right up in his face after a jab-step.

But beyond the mid-range looks, Nene is just a really good player when healthy. Always has been, and there's a reason he once signed a 5 year, $65m contract ($5m more than Noah's). He's huge and strong, something that both Noah and Taj Gibson have always had problems defending straight-up. But Nene is also quick, has post moves, and is a deft passer. There were several occasions in the second half of game two where the Bulls were on a big run but the Wizards kept within striking distance letting Nene single-handedly break down the Bulls defense for himself or teammates.

Nene perhaps isn't quite as good offensively as the video shows, especially against Noah and the Bulls defense, but his healthy and elevated play has been a major difference in how this series has played out versus the expectations going in.