Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said he felt it was “important” for his players to hear a Chicago reporter calling them “gutless” and “heartless” during a television interview prior to Game 5 Monday night.
Did Carlesimo ever question his team’s guts and heart?
“No. Not at all,” Carlesimo said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters. “We’ve been, we’ve talked about it all year, we’re not an easy team to read. We’ve had some real disappointments. We’ve had some nights where we were just listless and got whacked and didn’t look very good, and you say to yourself, ‘Boy how are they gonna come back from this?’ And then the very next day, we play a really good game.
“I think we’re the opposite of that.”
Carlesimo expanded on why he decided to show his team the video. The Nets responded with a 110-91 rout of the Chicago Bulls to pull within 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 is Thursday night at United Center.
“It was just one more thing where rather than do nothing, [I wanted to] do something,” he said. “Did it help 15 guys? No. But maybe it helped a couple guys, maybe it struck a chord with a couple guys.
“It was just an effort to do a little something. We knew we weren’t gonna do anything on the court or anything like that. I’m not a Knute Rockne speaker, so it was just something that hopefully would resonate with a couple of different people.”
Clearly, it did.
• Carlesimo said Andray Blatche’s calf is “very sore.” The interim coach pondered taking his backup center out of the game late in the fourth quarter, but Blatche wanted to play through it. He ended up scoring 10 of his 13 points in the final period.
Blatche originally hurt his calf in Game 4, then told reporters he re-aggravated it Monday night.
• Carlesimo delivered a money quote when he was asked about Joakim Noah’s toughness.
“He’s one of those guys you gotta put a wood stake through his heart,” Carlesimo said.
• The Nets have never won a playoff elimination Game 6 to force Game 7 in franchise history.