After winning Game 5 in Brooklyn, the Nets were feeling so good, they felt comfortable claiming themselves as the best team in their first round series with the Bulls. There was only one problem: the Bulls still lead the best of seven series three games to two.
"If we have to rely on that [as motivation]," coach Tom Thibodeau said shaking his head, "...It's meaningless."
"That's how they feel," veteran guard Kirk Hinrich said. "We feel like if we come to play [in Game 6] we have a good chance at winning."
The Bulls may lead the series, but they've taken a beating in the process. Hinrich missed practice this week, along with forwards Taj Gibson, Luol Deng and center Joakim Noah. Hinrich could barely walk to and from the practice court, and admitted he hadn't tried to run or cut yet on his bruised left calf.
"I'm just going to try and play [in Game 6]," Hinrich said. "But I hope it gets a lot better."
Regarding the most notable injured Bull, former MVP Derrick Rose was the last member of the team shooting on the practice court on Wednesday. But while he didn't complete rule it out, coach Tom Thibodeau strongly suggested that Rose was not in the equation moving ahead in the playoffs.
"There's always a chance, small as it might be," Thibodeau smiled coyly. "The more I'm around him the more I'm impressed with his character."