P.J.: Nets can still win this series
April, 28, 2013
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Only eight teams in NBA history have rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-7 playoff series.
Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo believes that his team can be the ninth.
"We've been resilient all year," Carlesimo said during a Sunday conference call. "We know it should be 2-2. But it's not, it's 3-1, and that's our fault and we've got to deal with it. But we know how close it was to being 2-2 and a totally different scenario."
The Nets had a 14-point lead with less than three minutes remaining in Game 4. Then they had an epic meltdown and lost in three overtimes. Now they'll have to win the remaining three games of the series to stave off elimination and advance to Round 2.
"We have to move away from the disappointment and channel it, whether it becomes anger or resolve or whatever it is," Carlesimo said. "We can't focus on Saturday. We've got to focus on Monday.
Rob Grabowski/USA TODAY SportsP.J. Carlesimo, shown here with Gerald Wallace, doesn't want his team to dwell on Game 4.
"We've got to be ready tomorrow night at 7 o'clock and we've got a one-game season. It's as simple as that."
At this point, it literally is win or go home.
"And I think we'll respond to that," Carlesimo said. "I don't think it's difficult for our guys to feel we're capable of [coming back]. I think they feel we can beat the Bulls. Have we done it enough? No, we haven't done it enough. But they know we can do it. They know that this game is in Brooklyn and I do think they'll bounce back and I do think [winning this series] is doable. But we're not talking about anything but [Monday night]."
In Saturday's 142-134 heartbreaker, Deron Williams (58), Brook Lopez (51), Reggie Evans (50), Gerald Wallace (48) and Joe Johnson (48) all logged a ton of minutes.
"We're dinged up," Carlesimo said. "All we did today is treatment. There's about six or seven guys here right now. I think everybody's sore. I'm sure Chicago is sore also. I think guys are not gonna be 100 percent tomorrow, and we may have to play some other people a few more minutes than we normally would.
"It'll depend how the game goes when the timeouts come and what kind of game it is. But at this point right now, I don't think anybody is injured to the extent that they won't play tomorrow."
Will Carlesimo show his players video of their collapse?
"I think tomorrow is about being positive and it's really important for us to look ahead and not backwards," he said, adding that he might show parts of the final three minutes, but only as teaching points.
"There will be enough motivation where they're not going to forget about what happened on Saturday, but I think we need to dwell on Monday and not Saturday."
WHERE'S BOGANS? Keith Bogans has not played yet in the series. Carlesimo said it was a difficult decision, but felt like with the rotation shortened, MarShon Brooks would be better served to get occasional minutes because of his offensive ability.
BROOK BRINGS IT: Brook Lopez is averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.3 blocks during the series, while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free-throw line.
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