- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls aren't sure how they're going to make it happen, they just know they have to find a way to win Game 5 of their first-round playoff series against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday or go home for the summer.
"It's do or die," Bulls center Joakim Noah said. "We're down 3-1, so we're just trying to get a win."
The Bulls have said all the right things since a disappointing Game 4 loss in Washington on Sunday: They have to play tougher, they have to take care of the ball, they have to start faster -- the cliches go on and on.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is going back to the emotional well to try to get his team to come together for one last stand.
"I think your confidence comes from your preparation," Thibodeau said. "And our team has been through a lot so it's two years of going against the odds. We've got a bunch of fighters, we've been down before and we've climbed out of holes before so we know what we have to do."
Noah talks Sterling: Noah is disgusted by the situation unfolding in Los Angeles in the aftermath of alleged racist comments made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling. He is just as intrigued as anybody about what commissioner Adam Silver will decide to do -- and say -- during his Tuesday press conference.
"It's a very disappointing situation," he said. "Of course we're interested. I don't know what the biggest penalty is but if those comments are true about what he said it's very disappointing, not just for the Clippers but for everybody around the league."
Noah said the issue goes deeper than just the Clippers franchise.
"It's a league problem," Noah said. "I think it brings a dark cloud to the league. It's sad because I think the league is in a really good place right now. You look at the playoffs all around, you look at teams all around, it's very competitive. Everybody's into it. The NBA's in a good place. Basketball is in a good place, it's become a real global game. And to have one of the owners make ignorant remarks like that, it's just sad."
The last word: "We're not changing the way we approach things. Just thinking about this game possession by possession, quarter by quarter, and take it step by step. That's why you try to build those habits throughout the course of the season because in the end you know the situations you'll be facing. So hopefully you've built the proper habits to get yourself ready to play, have a routine, and then we have to play better." -- Thibodeau, on his team's mindset.
6hMatt Walks, ESPN.com
7hJason McCallum, ESPN Stats & Info
3dMatt Walks, ESPN.com