NEW YORK —
With only one day of rest between games, Carlesimo said he may have to extend his rotation Monday after Deron Williams played 58 minutes Saturday and every other starter played at least 48, the equivalent of a full game. Thibodeau, who has been criticized for riding his starters too long, actually got more key minutes from his bench because Robinson was playing so well and because Noah’s time on the court has to be limited because of his foot.
Thibodeau did say that Noah has been feeling less soreness the day after games than he was late in the regular season. The center was on the floor 39 minutes Saturday, about 10 more than Thibodeau wants to play him.
The Bulls also went 3-1 against the Nets during the regular season, though most of the margins were as close as Chicago’s have been during this series. So Carlesimo, who helped the Nets win 49 games in their first season in Brooklyn after replacing the fired Avery Johnson in December, doesn’t think their work is done yet.
“I don’t think it’s difficult for our guys to feel that they’re capable of doing this,” he said. “I think that they feel we can beat the Bulls. Have we done it? No, we haven’t done it enough. But they know that we can do it, they know that this game is in Brooklyn, and I do think they’ll bounce back and I do think it’s doable.”
AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman in Chicago contributed to this report.
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