The Chicago Bulls have taken a 2-1 lead over the Brooklyn Nets after a sluggish Game 3. The Nets were held to 18 points or less in each of the first three quarters until they broke through in the fourth, outscoring Chicago 24-14. The Bulls were able to hang on and picked up the 79-76 victory. How were both coaches feeling after breaking the tie in the series, what adjustments do they expect from their teams, and where is Carlos Boozer drawing his energy while the Bulls play through adversity?
P.J. Carlesimo needs his team to make shots
Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo credited his team getting stops in the fourth quarter for generating offense. "We did a lot of things better in comparison," Carlesimo stated when reflecting on the difference between the fourth quarter and the other three quarters. The Nets shot 34 percent from the field through the night and made only five of their 21 three-point field goal attempts.
Brooklyn had opened up the game strong and took an early lead, which prompted Carlesimo to dryly comment that he was "happy we were making a run." He acknowledged that the Bulls were loading up on Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, and boiled it down to one change he needs from his team: "We've gotta make some shots."
Overall, Carlesimo remained optimistic and was happy with his team's effort, but stressed the importance of makingjumpers they're getting, and finishing around the rim.
While Carlesimo was looking ahead with optimism, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau came out demanding more from his team. His first response in the press conference ended with "We're going to have to come out a lot tougher in the next one."
Thibodeau detailed on the Bulls' defensive mentality: "You have to go in with a multiple effort mentality. You have to be able to do two, three, four things on a play. We have to be able to shift our defense, we have to read and recognize, and we have to read the ball better. There's a lot of things we have to do better."
He also praised the versatility of the Nets' bench, and the scoring ability of Williams and Johnson. How is he planning on continuing to slow them down? "You don't guard these guys individually, you have to do it collectively," Thibodeau said -- a reflection of the way Chicago's defense moves as a unit, which has become an issue for the Nets' primary scorers in the series.
, man of the night
Boozer finished the night with 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting along with 16 rebounds and led the Bulls to victory. The big man credited his "great teammates, great coaching staff, great management, and great family" as sources he feeds off of.
Carlesimo was happy with Brooklyn's defensive effort, but when it came to Boozer's big night could only explain what the Nets tried to do. "We've tried to deny him the the ball, we've tried to push him in one direction, and we've tried to contest his shots," Carlesimo said. "He doesn't seem to miss an open shot -- when he gets a shot against us it seems to go in."
Boozer credited his teammates for the win and was "proud" of his team for pulling out two tough wins after losing Game 1 in Brooklyn.