CHICAGO -- Gerald Wallace remains confused.
Exactly a week after the Nets veteran swingman told Newsday that this season has easily been the worst since he first picked up a basketball and he's confused with his role, he reiterated that again Friday. Three games into their postseason, and after sitting on the bench for the entire fourth quarter Thursday night, Wallace is befuddled. Still.
“I don't know. I couldn't tell you my role, man,” Wallace said in a conference room at the team hotel as the Nets began preparing for Saturday’s date with the Bulls in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference first-round series. "I don't know still what my role is.”
Told of that, P.J. Carlesimo said he wasn’t really surprised and put the onus squarely on himself.
“I just think we are going through a tough time right now and that’s what the playoffs are all about,” the Nets interim coach said. “We are all frustrated and I have to do a better job constantly of defining roles and redefining roles so we can perform the way we are capable of performing.”
One thing’s for sure: Carlesimo isn’t going to drop Wallace or Reggie Evans from the starting lineup. With the Nets’ offensive struggles these last two games, there’s a premium on putting guys who can consistently put the ball in the basket and stretch defense out on the court. So that's part of the reason neither saw a minute of action in the fourth.
Carlesimo inserted MarShon Brooks into the mix and had him out there with Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Kris Humphries in the final quarter, and suggested he may have to go to that type of lineup sooner if the Nets can’t get it going on the offensive end.
“If we are struggling offensively, then we need to address that,” Carlesimo said. “If changing the lineup or changing who we put on the floor helps us to score points ... Part of it is, it’s a tough balance because some of the problems that we have, it’s not because those guys are not scoring. It’s because other guys aren’t.
"If we do some of the things that we normally do, or we make some threes or we finish in the paint, then we are Ok and we can take advantage of other guys’ skill sets and not just say, ‘The hell with it, we’ve got to put an offensive team out there,’ because that can also get you in trouble, where all of the sudden, we are not as good defensively anymore, we are not as good rebounding anymore.
“Whether we get that dramatic where we’ve got to change the lineup five minutes into the game or not, I don’t know. But it’s certainly a concern going forward, but we can address it with other guys, too, and that would help the situation.”