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Are the Brooklyn Nets just more stoical than their rivals ... or unemotional?

Bruce Bennett

It's the latest criticism of the Nets, that they aren't emotional enough to win. Marv Albert criticized them during Game 6 for their "sense of urgency" and Charles Barkley said, they “don’t play with a lot of passion ... they just play on talent.”

Not to mention Joe Cowley's comments to Sarah Kustok at halftime of the Nets game 3 meltdown. He said the Bulls "wanted this team for a reason. They feel, privately they've said, "this team is gutless, this team is heartless" and they think they can expose them when the game gets close in the fourth quarter." By the first overtime, he looked like a prophet. "Soft" and "dispassionate" are two other words writers have used to describe them.

Teams win in different ways and there is no doubt the team's two leaders, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, show a stoical face for the most part. The most emotion Johnson showed all season was when he came skipping down the court after beating Milwaukee (or was it Washington or Detroit? They run together). That's just him. And C.J. Watson? "The Quiet Storm?"

Does it matter? The pundits certainly think so. Their coach not so much. P.J. Carlesimo showed the team Cowley's comments and they said they laughed it off. He responded to Barkley's jibe by saying, "I’m really happy with our guys’ competitiveness, and the fact that they’ve come back from 3-1 [down in the series], the fact we’ve won on the road ... it’s a little hard to understand how you could think that.”

Andray Blatche took exception as well. “I feel like we’re definitely physically tough, we’re definitely more physical, we’re tougher than that team (the Bulls),” Blatche said. “For us, being behind 3-1 and for us to come back and tie it up shows how tough we really are, and shows how guys want to compete every night, which we’ve done.”

So will an emotional win mean those demons, like the ones before them, would be exorcise. Nope. "It would mean we got to pack Sunday morning," Carlesimo said, "and do a quick turnaround for a really good opponent."

Maybe P.J. should designate someone to throw up in a towel.