In the past, neji was shown to have the ability to emit chakra from every part of his body. He did it when he freed himself from kidomarus web in part 1, and again when he escaped kisames water prison. Considering that stuff like the rasengan eg is pure chakra and can crush solid objects, why didnt neji just use his ability to act as a shield and crush the tree thing flying towards him? I guess kishi got a little too eager to kill him here. Note: unlike when he was stabbed by kidomaru due to having reached his limit, i find it hard to believe he was out of stamina so soon in this chapter. A full emission of chakra from his back should have crushed or at least slowed down that projectile.
If main chars have to die, i would like their deaths to be more logical.