Was Jamal Crawford stirring the pot when he said the Atlanta Hawks feel good because they took the Bulls' best shot in Game 2, so they have a right to feel good about their chances to win this series?

Not really. And it's not as if the Bulls need fuel for the fire. But that's in play.

``He has a right to his opinion,'' Carlos Boozer said at the Game 3 shootaround Friday morning. ``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.''

And, Boozer added, ``We believe we can play better.''

The thing is, when Derrick Rose shoots 37 percent and Boozer is struggling through a turf-toe injury, Atlanta didn't exactly get the Bulls' best shot.

Even Crawford knows that. He was talking about the situation, he explained at the shootaround, not trying to create a bulletin-board headline.

``That's how poeple take it,'' the former Bull said. ``It's the playoffs. Everything's magnified. The whole conversation was the fact that it was a must-win for them, they were at home and it was an MVP celebration. They had eveything working in their favor, and we still had a chance to win even though we didn't play well.

``It wasn't like I was saying we didn't respect them. That would be foolish. They had 18 more wins than we did. We definitely respect them. We just feel like they came out with their best effort and we didn't play that good and we had a chance to win. So I feel like we'll be OK moving forward.''

Atlanta forward Al Horford expects things to ramp up—on both sides.