He's a stylin' type guy whose hair is recolored or recoiffed when it's time for a fashion statement, a renegade rebounder with body piercings and too many tattoos to count.

And now, it seems, Dennis Rodman is offering travel advice. Just as he did to the fans of the Charlotte Hornets after Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals:"Just pack for the summer, baby," Rodman told them as the Bulls took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Now back on their home floor, the Bulls are ready to send the Hornets on vacation with a victory tonight and move on to the next round.

Coach Phil Jackson insists his team is not overconfident.

"It's very difficult for the Hornets to come back from this, but you can sense they can come out and play loose and suddenly everything goes easy for them and we could find ourselves down 20," Jackson said.

"I think bringing the right amount of energy to the game is what is important. We can't worry about Charlotte. We have to worry about ourselves."

The Bulls are glad to be home, where they are 23-2 in the playoffs the last three seasons. It's just so far this year in the postseason, they've played better ball away from the United Center.

After struggling in the first two games against the Hornets, losing Game 2 when they shot 36 rcent, they dominated the next two games in Charlotte, shooting 51 percent in each.

How could that be?

"There is no logical reason for it. We can sit here and talk about the sight lines and the space behind the basket and all that stuff," said guard Steve Kerr, the team's best long-range shooter. "(The basket) is still 10 feet and both teams have to shoot on the same hoops. I think that stuff is kind of nonsense really."

Mostly, it's been the Hornets struggling with their offense, especially their all-important perimeter game.

They're hitting just 41 percent for the series, and sharpshooter Glen Rice is at 39 percent while making just 5-of-19 from 3-point range.

Chicago's tough defense features Scottie Pippen on Rice and Rodman against Anthony Mason.

KNICKS VS. PACERS: Everyone will be keeping a closer eye on Larry Bird's coaching methods when the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks resume their second-round series.

The added scrutiny goes with the territory when you've just been named Coach of the Year.

"I'd trade every award I ever won just to have one of his rings," said Reggie Miller of the Pacers, who are a victory tonight away from advancing to the Eastern Conference finals.

Only six teams in NBA history have come back from 3-1 deficits, and only two of them - the 1995 Houston Rockets and 1968 Boston Celtics - did it by winning two road games, as the Knicks will need to do.