NEW YORK - If Gerald Wallace is still having a confidence problem, maybe the waning minutes of Monday evening's 110-91 Game 5 win over the Chicago Bulls can help him snap out of it.
After checking back into the game for the final time with 3:15 to play and the Nets up eight, Deron Williams swung Wallace the ball in the left corner as he calmly sank his second 3-pointer of the game for a 101-91 lead.
Down the other end, an errant, cross-court pass from Nate Robinson was picked off by Wallace at mid-court as he walked in alone for a vicious, one-handed breakaway dunk for a 12-point and a Bulls timeout with 2:00 to play.
"I just didn't hesitate, didn't think about it," Wallace said after scoring 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting in 39 minutes of work. "I've tried to be in attack-mode and be more aggressive. Whatever I can do to help."
Throughout the regular season and even into the playoffs, Wallace has been outspoken on a number of topics, most notably his own struggles and how he fits on this completely revamped, very expensive Nets team.
Most recently, he stated publicly after Game 3, 'I don't have a clue what my roll is on this team.' That frustration poured out following a 2-for-8 showing in which he played just 25 minutes and was benched for the entire fourth quarter of a 79-76 loss at the United Center.
Through five playoff games, Wallace is averaging just 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 33.6 minutes per game, but the Nets' two wins in this series have been marked by solid outings from the 12th-year small forward.
In Game 1, Wallace was solid, scoring 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting in 37 minutes of work.
"We're not worried about Gerald Wallace," Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "I'm not surprised when Gerald Wallace does good things."
Wallace also did the job defensively on Luol Deng, holding him to just 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting. With Wallace drawing that defensive assignment throughout the series, he has held Deng to 14.4 points over the first five games of the series after he averaged 16.5 points per game during the regular season.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA