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For Bulls, additional rest cuts both ways


Ronnie Brewer Bulls will watch Thunder Mavericks play twice before resuming their series Sunday. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

Ronnie Brewer and the Bulls will watch the Thunder and Mavericks play twice before resuming their series Sunday. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: June 22, 2011 7:33PM



This three-day layoff doesn’t sit well with Kyle Korver.

‘‘I don’t like it,’’ Korver, eager to atone for 1-for-7 shooting in Game 2, said Friday. ‘‘Especially after you lose, you want to get back out there and play. Back-to-backs stink. But if you lose in the first one, you don’t have to talk about missing shots for three days. You get to go out there and make some shots. And then it’s a different line of questioning. But we don’t make the rules.’’

While noting the extra time for preparation, Ronnie Brewer doesn’t like having three days off between games, either. Watching the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder play twice before the Bulls get another shot at the Miami Heat on Sunday only adds to the itchy trigger fingers.

‘‘It’s kind of crazy how it’s spread out,’’ Brewer said. ‘‘It’s good. It allows us to scout them, focus in on what they’re doing, what they did to hurt us and make adjustments and try to get better.’’

On the other hand, Brewer said he’s ready to go.

‘‘You’re in shape now where you don’t need days to recover,’’ he said. ‘‘If you win, you want to come back and play the next game as soon as possible to ride that wave. If you lose, you’ve got a chip on your shoulder to get back out there and prove that was a fluke game.’’

To Joakim Noah, though, the rest-and-recuperation aspect is a big plus.

‘‘I’m not going to lie,’’ Noah said. ‘‘I like the days off. We lost the game, but we played very hard. The days off just let the hangover of the game not hang over the game.’’

It wasn’t Oprah

Just to clarify, the Bulls and Heat taking eight days to play the first three games of their series has nothing to do with Oprah Winfrey, who occupied the United Center on Monday and Tuesday for her farewell gala.

The series either was going to start Sunday, as it did, or Wednesday if the Bulls’ previous series with the Atlanta Hawks had gone seven games.

Playoff scheduling must keep series on similar timetables to avoid long layoffs for one series winner waiting for another series to conclude. It also factors in the needs of the NBA’s television partners.

So it wasn’t about Oprah.

Hats off to Haslem

Heat forward Udonis Haslem, who returned from a serious foot injury to deliver 13 points and an energy boost in his first significant appearance since November, won’t catch the Bulls by surprise again.

‘‘He played very well,’’ Noah said. ‘‘You have to give credit when credit is due. The guy didn’t play all year. For him to come out and play the way he did, I have a lot of respect for that player. It’s on us.’’

How will the Bulls combat that in Game 3?

‘‘You combat it,’’ Noah said. ‘‘That’s what you do. Combat that. Yeah, that’s really it. You just have to fight.’’



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