Jamal Crawford remains confident

Updated: May 6, 2011, 3:06 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Atlanta Hawks guard Jamal Crawford wasn't discouraged by the Chicago Bulls' 86-73 win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday.

In fact, Crawford found reasons to be optimistic as the series -- which is even at 1-1 -- shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday.

"If that's their best shot, we're in good shape," Crawford said Thursday. "As bad as we played, to be down six with four minutes to go, we had our chances. We'll take some positives from it and watch some tape."

The Hawks whittled a 14-point deficit to six in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls went on a 9-2 run to secure the win.

"It was a desperate game for them, and they played like it," Crawford said. "Now we have to go home and take care of business."

Crawford said Friday that he hasn't gotten any flak from his teammates for saying what he said.

"I think [the media] took out the line they wanted to," Crawford said after Friday morning's shootaround. "With them in a must-win situation in Game 2, and all the energy in the building, we knew they'd come out, and being at home, and the whole Derrick Rose MVP thing, we thought this packed was the Madhouse on Madison, we still had an opportunity to win as bad as we played."

The Bulls didn't seem too concerned by what Crawford had to say.

"He has a right to his opinion," Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer said. "I don't get into a talking thing in the papers. I'm more of an on-the-court kind of guy. We'll see him tonight."

That was the prevailing thought in the Bulls' locker room.

"That's his opinion," Rose said. "To us, that wasn't our best game of the postseason. That wasn't our best game at all. But I think that we played a little bit more defense."

The Bulls are confident that they can play a lot better than what they've shown so far in the postseason.

"I don't think we've played our best yet," Bulls forward Luol Deng said. "I think we can always play better. It's a lot of things we got to work on. The whole playoffs, I don't think we've reached our best yet."

Crawford's teammate Joe Johnson didn't have a problem with the comments, but noted that he also knows his team hasn't seen the best of Rose, or the Bulls, yet.

"I don't think they've played well," Johnson said. "I don't think Derrick's played well. I think they go as Derrick go. He hasn't had a great shooting game against us, so we'll see what happens. It's kind of tough, they're arguably the best team in this league. We've done what we have to do, now we've just go to protect our home court."

Information from ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell was used in this report.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ALSO SEE

MORE NBA HEADLINES