Chicago Sun-Times

Trash talk heats up

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So far in the first-round series between the Bulls and Boston Celtics, it's been difficult to tell which team is the defending champion and which is the young team without much playoff experience.

After winning the first game of the series on Saturday, the Bulls have said all the right things since and certainly didn't provide any bulletin-board material.

The same can't be said for the Celtics, who virtually said the 36-point performance of Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was a fluke.

"Everybody has their night," Boston center Kendrick Perkins said Sunday. "I know it won't happen again. He'll never have another game like that against us.

"It wasn't anything they did. It was all on us."

Following their shootaround Monday morning, the Bulls didn't have much of a response.

"I don't read it," coach Vinny Del Negro. "I focus on our people and what I can control. It doesn't matter what people say. It's about going out and doing it. All that stuff gets overblown."

Bulls guard Ben Gordon simply said teams react emotionally after a playoff loss.

"I definitely don't think they expected us to come out and win the first game," Gordon said. "They're probably questioning themselves and trying to see what they can do. In the playoffs, that's how it is. When you win a game, you feel like you can never lose. When you lose a game, you feel like you can never win."

Perhaps the most intelligent comment made during the off day on Sunday was by Bulls center Joakim Noah.

"We really didn't do anything yet," he said. "We won one game in a seven-game series and people are acting like it's the biggest deal in the world. It feels good and I feel like we set the tone, but we didn't accomplish anything yet.

"What we want to do is win this series and we know they're not gonna go down without a fight."

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This page contains a single entry by John Jackson published on April 20, 2009 11:06 AM.

Missed FT saves Bulls, Del Negro was the previous entry in this blog.

Mike Brown named Coach of Year; here's my official award ballot is the next entry in this blog.

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