Gibson not feeling the love in Brooklyn
NEW YORK — Taj Gibson spoke Monday about how having a playoff series in Brooklyn has been a mixed blessing.
Gibson grew up less than a mile from the Barclays Center, but hasn't necessarily been feeling the love from his hometown.
"It's crazy. It's a distraction," he said. "But I have good teammates around me. I hardly leave the hotel and my family understands that. But Brooklyn, I don't know. They're coming out of nowhere, these fans. I didn't know they really had a good strong fan base like that. A lot of my fans turned against me."
Gibson also mentioned that his twice-sprained left knee is starting to feel healthier.
"(Game 1) was the first time I really felt a lot better, a lot strong pushing off and stuff like that. Especially with the lighter brace, I was a little timid, a little scared at first. As the game went on, I was feeling my legs coming back to me.
"I've been guarding (Nets center Brook Lopez) since college. I had to guard him for like two years at USC just by myself. So I feel like I'll be able to guard him. It's just a matter of me moving my feet."
Kerr doesn't like Bulls' chances:
A couple of TNT analysts talked about whether the Bulls have a chance in this series, playing far below full strength.
"I think the Bulls, their margin of error is very slim, because of the lack of firepower," said former Bulls guard Steve Kerr, who called Monday's game. "They're not very good offensively. What keeps them in games, usually, is their competitiveness and their defense. As long as they bring that, they usually keep games close and make you grind it out — and that's their best hope.
"I think they can make this a very competitive series. I don't think they can beat Brooklyn four times just with the way (Brook) Lopez and (Deron) Williams are playing, pretty big talent disparity.
Added Dennis Scott, "Somehow they've got to find somebody to make some shots. It's just that simple. We know coach Thibs (Tom Thibodeau) does an excellent job keeping the guys focused on the defensive end. But if they don't find somebody, or two guys, to make some shots, they might get swept."
Never too late for comeback:
Buls coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned an experience when he was with the New York Knicks for why he hasn't given up on Derrick Rose coming back from ACL surgery at some point in the playoffs.
"When I was in New York, Patrick (Ewing) missed a majority of the season," Thibodeau said. "I think he got hurt in early December. He was able to come back during the playoffs. That experience taught me that it's the right thing to do. So if Derrick can come back, we want him back."
During the 1997-98 season, Ewing went out in Game 26 on Dec. 20. He returned to play four playoff games against Indiana, starting with Game 2, and averaged 14 points. The Knicks lost to the Pacers 4-1 in that second round series and Indiana then lost to the Bulls in the conference finals.
Butler feels playoff heat:
Second-year Bulls forward Jimmy Butler got his playoff start in Game 1 and fared reasonably well, hitting 5 of 8 shots for 13 points. He talked about getting his first taste of playoff intensity.
"I got the jitters out of the way when halftime came around," Butler said. "At first it was kind of nerve-wracking, everybody saying it's a different type of basketball. I just sat down and thought to myself, 'You've been doing this for so long, great teammates, they've got your back.' It made it really easy to come out in the second half."
Game 1 loss can't compare:
If Game 1 ended after the third quarter, it would have been the worst loss in Bulls playoff history. They trailed by 27 at the end of three, but cut the deficit to 17 by the end of the contest.
They've lost playoff games by 26 points three times — against the Los Angeles Lakers in 1971, against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals in 1992 and against Detroit in Game 1 of a second-round series in 2007.
Nate Robinson finished 10th in voting for the NBA's Sixth Man Award, getting 4 third-place votes. New York's J.R. Smith won, followed by Clippers guard Jamal Crawford and Golden State guard Jarrett Jack. ... Former Bulls forward Brian Scalabrine attended Monday's game.
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