Starting point guard Kirk Hinrich is out with a bruised left calf suffered during Saturday's epic 142-134 Bulls win, Derrick Rose is presumed unavailable while recovering from ACL surgery and that means Robinson, the man that killed the Nets in the clutch on Saturday at the United Center, is about to play an even bigger role for the Bulls.
The diminutive, demonstrative 5-foot-9 Robinson scored 29 of his playoff career-high 34 points in the fourth quarter and overtime on Saturday for the Bulls, who came back from 14 points down with 3:15 to go in regulation in pushing the Nets to the brink.
"The one obvious guy that is probably gonna get more minutes is the guy we certainly don't wanna see on the floor with more minutes," Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo said after shootaround at PNY Center. "If you took one of our starters, one of our majors guys out, it's gonna make a difference. That opportunity sometimes goes the other way. Him not playing is a big plus for us. Whether we take advantage of it or whether the guy who gets to play more minutes takes advantage of it remains to be seen."
Of course Robinson, often-combustible and having never met a shot he didn't like, will not go the distance in this game, but the options at the point for Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau are few and far between with Hinrich out after playing nearly 60 minutes on Saturday.
Rookie Marquis Teague, who has played all of seven seconds in this series, figures to see the floor tonight. The former University of Kentucky standout played in 48 games during the regular season, averaging 2.1 points in 8.2 minutes per game.
Beyond Teague and Hinrich, there was a point in the season where Thibodeau had put the ball in the hands of 6-foot-5 Marco Bellinelli and simply asked him to be a facilitator.
Any way you slice it, this is potentially a huge break for the Nets, who were in control during various points of Games 3 and 4 before dropping both. Between the regular season and playoffs, the Bulls are 41-23 with Hinrich in the lineup and 7-15 without him.
Only eight teams in NBA history have come back to win a best-of-seven series after trailing, 3-1. Should the Nets win tonight, Game 6 will be played at the United Center on Thursday evening.
"He's a big part of what they're doing, their game plan and he's giving them a lot offensively as well," Deron Williams said of Hinrich. "Nate definitely put the team on his back. He got hot and we would like to probably think we could double him if he gets going like that again. Hopefully, he doesn't get hot like that again."
Johnson a go as Nets report no injuries
After Saturday's marathon game that saw all five starters go at least 48 minutes and three go at least 50, the Nets reported no injuries ahead of Game 5.
Carlesimo was vague on Sunday via conference call, saying that 6-7 guys had come in for treatment without providing further detail.
The key point of the spotless injury report is that Joe Johnson and the plantar fasciitis in his right foot emerged unscathed after he played 48 minutes, scoring 22 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the field.
The six-time All-Star shooting guard said Monday morning that the foot was a little stiff, but left not doubt he will play tonight.
The plantar fasciitis occurred during the Game 2 loss, but he took a cortisone shot in order to play in Game 3 on Thursday evening when he scored 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting in 41 minutes.
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