Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nets Must Stay Desperate to Bring Series Back Home

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nets Must Stay Desperate to Bring Series Back Home

Article excerpt

Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said it before Game 5, and he said it again when it was done. His Nets have responded well to adversity all season, so he was not surprised when they bounced back from Game 4's debacle with a season-saving win.

His worry now is how the Nets deal with prosperity.

"We've got to do a much better job of handling the win than we did our other win," Carlesimo said in a conference call Tuesday. "If we do that, if we go into Game 6 ... with a sense of desperation, it'll serve us a lot better."

The Nets cruised to victory in Game 1, seemingly seizing control of the series. But they were lackluster in Game 2 and lost the next three.

"We didn't handle the success from Game 1," Carlesimo said. "And if we get feeling good about ourselves because we got a win [in Game 5], we won't be coming back for Game 7."

It shouldn't be difficult for the Nets to conjure up some desperation, considering what's at stake. They are trying to become only the ninth team, out of 211 that have tried, to climb out of a 3- 1 series deficit. With a win, the Nets would tie the series at three and prepare to host Game 7.

"We're day-to-day, and we've dug ourselves a hole," Carlesimo said. "We have to just find a way to win on Thursday and bring it back to Brooklyn."

There will be questions whether the Nets have the fortitude to do that after what happened the last time they played at United Center. Brooklyn blew a 14-point lead in the final three minutes of regulation and lost Game 4 in triple overtime.

Earlier in the series, a Chicago reporter said in a television interview that the Bulls believed the Nets to be "gutless" and "heartless."

Carlesimo played that clip for his team before Game 5.

"I'm not a Knute Rockne speaker," Carlesimo said, explaining why he played the clip. "So it was just something that hopefully would resonate with a couple of different people. …

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