July 29, 2014
Even with newly signed guard Jimmer Fredette admitting Sunday that a big reason he chose the Bulls was to be coached by Tom Thibodeau — the man who has turned players such as Nate Robinson and D.J. Augustin into successful reclamation projects — Thibodeau was trying to deflect the spotlight.
‘‘It says something about our team,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘When people look at the team, they see a group that’s willing to play for each other. I think that’s enticing for other people. It’s a group that has an understanding of what each player’s strengths and weaknesses are. We encourage players to play to their strengths.
‘‘The more you win, the more you’ll be recognized. I think that that’s a byproduct of the commitment that each player has made. To me, that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about individual performance. It’s a team game. If everyone is tied together, the group looks good. That’s what we strive for.’’
Butler did it
Guard Jimmy Butler held the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony to just 21 points in the Bulls’ win, the fewest points for Anthony since Feb. 9. Call it extra incentive.
‘‘Growing up, all I wanted to do was guard the likes of all those guys you see on TV, to see if I can hang, to tell you the truth,’’ Butler said. ‘‘If I can guard them, go down and score, I feel like that shows me I have a place in this league.’’