Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said yesterday his team is “not uncomfortable playing on the road.” Good thing, too, because the team can’t win its series against the Bulls unless it earns at least one win in Chicago.
For the first time since joining the NBA in 1976, the Nets won more games than they lost away from home. They sport a 23-18 record when playing outside of Brooklyn during the regular season.
But the Nets failed to win either of their two previous matchups in the Windy City, averaging 83.5 ppg.
To break through and steal back home-court advantage, Carlesimo said the Nets will need to avoid poor shooting efforts like they had in Tuesday’s 90-82 loss in Game 2, which knotted their first-round playoff series against the Bulls at 1-1.
“Whether it be screening or movement of the ball, we’ve gotta make shots,” Carlesimo said in a conference call with media.
Only center Brook Lopez had a particularly good game in the loss, scoring 21 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the field. The Nets’ other top three scoring options — Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace — combined to shoot 8 for 34 (24%).
Williams was held to 8 points on 1 of 9 shooting on Monday after a 22-point effort in the 106-89 Game 1 victory. He said after Monday’s loss that he felt he didn’t drive to the basket enough and vowed a better showing in tomorrow night’s Game 3.
“I didn’t play good,” Williams said. “I’m not gonna play like this again.”
Carlesimo sounded confident that Williams will return from one of his worst shooting games in a Brooklyn uniform.
“He’ll bounce back because he’s an excellent player,” Carlesimo said of his point guard. “You gotta put Deron in better situations and better playcalls than we did.”