CHICAGO – Brooklyn Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said before Game 4 of the first-round matchup with the Chicago Bulls that he hasn't read Friday's comments from a disappointed Gerald Wallace, but that the issue has still been addressed.
"I didn't see [Wallace's comments] to be honest with you, but I've talked to Gerald and hopefully we've done a better job of letting Gerald know the things that are important for him to do to help us be successful," Carlesimo said.
Whether he was actually aware of the comments or not, the veteran coach didn't seem like he wanted to build on a controversy with the Nets in need of a victory in the first-round series.
On Friday at practice in downtown Chicago, Wallace vented over playing time, especially in the fourth quarter of the team's consecutive defeats.
"I couldn't tell you my role," Wallace told reporters. "I don't have a clue what my role is on this team."
Wallace didn't play a single minute in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's Game 3 defeat to the Bulls.
JOE IS A GO: Joe Johnson was less of a question for Game 4 on Saturday than he was before Game 3. Johnson has been dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and was questionable for Friday's game, but ended up playing 40 minutes.
"He'll go out and see what it feels like, but we're expecting him to play," Carlesimo said.
That was much different than before Game 3, when Carlesimo said he still wasn't sure of Johnson's status about an hour before game time.
ANGER IS A GIFT: The Nets don't seem to be using the memory of a strong Game 1 to get them going, but instead are using the fuel of two consecutive defeats to move forward.
Carlesimo was asked about the mood of his team.
"I would say a little bit agitated," Carlesimo said. "They understand it's the biggest game. Each succeeding playoff game usually is, but it's the biggest game we played all year. We're 3½ hours from 2-2 and a best-of-3 series with two in our building. They understand what they need to do."