Much like the guy down the hall, Brooklyn coach P.J. Carlesimo kept everyone in suspense before Game 3 about the status of shooting guard Joe Johnson, who was suffering from plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
As it turned out, Johnson started and didn't seem to be in too bad a shape. He was the Nets' leading scorer at halftime with 9 points.
Johnson missed some time during the season with a left heel injury. He said he tweaked his foot during Game 2 against the Bulls.
"We didn't anticipate this," Carlesimo said before the game. "We thought it was going the other way until the first quarter the other night. We'll just deal with it. They're dealing with things, also."
Carelsimo did say if Johnson couldn't play, he would have started ex-Bulls guard C.J. Watson instead. Watson was booed when he checked in Thursday, Bulls fans no doubt remembering his poor playoff shooting a year ago.
Belinelli gets well:
Marco Belinelli's playoff history consisted of six games for the New Orleans Hornets in 2011. He averaged 9.7 points and shot 36.5 percent in a first-round series against the Lakers.
In the first two games against the Nets, Belinelli averaged 10.5 points and shot 46.7 percent from the field. He seems to be feeling better after missing seven games late in the season with an abdominal strain.
"I can still feel it a little bit, but I think it's part of the game," Belinelli said Thursday. "I need to play with a little bit of pain, but that's OK. That's my job, so I don't think about that. I just try to go out on the court and play as hard as I can."
Door still open for Rose:
Coach Tom Thibodeau made another promise that Derrick Rose will suit up for a playoff game if he ever decides he's fully recovered from ACL surgery.
"We've said this all along. If he's ready to come back, he's coming back. No matter when it is," Thibodeau said. "If it's a week from now, great. If it's not, that's fine, too. We just have to keep moving forward.
"We knew it was 8 to 12 months. We planned or every scenario possible. We'll see how it unfolds."
Thibodeau also likes the presence of Rose on the Bulls bench.
"He's a great leader," Thibodeau said. "He's been here every day. He's been practicing with us. You guys don't see, he's in the locker room. He's doing all the things he can do. His role right now is to support his teammates and that's what he's doing."
Carlesimo already impressed:
Asked about Joakim Noah's Game 2 performance on a sore right foot, Brooklyn coach P.J. Carlesimo hesitated before speaking.
"I want to give him credit for playing when he's got a serious injury. At the same time, he's such an aggressive player. He's such a talent. He's such a competitor. I'm not surprised when he plays well," Carlesimo said. "He's one of the best competitors in the league. So when he does anything good, it doesn't surprise me."
Nets GM on verge of reward:
There were rumors Thursday that Nets general manager Billy King is on the verge of signing a contract extension. King was hired in July, 2010 after the Nets completed a 12-70 season. This year, they went 49-33 and finished fourth in the Eastern Conference.
"I hope that's true," coach P.J. Carlesimo said before the contest.
Through two games of the NBA playoffs, Carlos Boozer leads the league in minutes played at 43.5 per game. … Coach Tom Thibodeau on the Nate Robinson-C.J. Watson battle: "Two guys that are competing. To me, that shouldn't be unusual." … Through Wednesday, home teams were 14-2 in the NBA playoffs, with only the Bulls and Golden State winning on the road.