Bulls snap skid, but Tom Thibodeau upset with rebounding
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org December 29, 2012 11:58PM
Chicago Bulls Vs Washington Wizards. Chicago Bulls No.22 Taj Gibson works under the basket as Washington Wizards No.13 Kevin Seraphin and No. 20 Cartier Martin pressure Gibson. December 29, 2012 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
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Updated: January 31, 2013 6:51AM
What does a 10-point victory over a four-win team get you?
Practice on Sunday with some extra rebounding drills added in.
Ah, the world of coach Tom Thibodeau.
After watching the Bulls end a two-game losing streak — make that a two-game humiliation streak — by beating the Wizards 87-77 Saturday at the United Center, it didn’t take long for Thibodeau to point out what went wrong.
Marco Belinelli’s game-high 17 points off the bench?
“I thought Marco was terrific,’’ Thibodeau said.
Richard Hamilton’s return to the starting lineup after missing almost a month with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot?
“Considering the amount of time he’s been out, I thought he had a good rhythm in the second half,’’ Thibodeau said.
Getting outrebounded (56-49) for a third consecutive game?
Enjoy practice, boys.
“We’re still concerned with where our rebounding is, and we’ve got to get that straightened out,’’ Thibodeau said. “We’ve got to get back to fundamentals; we’ve got to go after the ball. We’re getting our hands on it but not securing it. We’ve got to get back to snatching with two hands. We’ve got to correct it. We got away with it, but we’ve got to get better.’’
And Thibodeau sounded like he would do whatever it takes to make sure the Bulls (16-12) get better.
“It’s definitely being addressed, and Thibs is even adding drills in practice,’’ center Joakim Noah said. “It’s a concern, and we have to do a better job on the boards.’’
Noah was pressed about Thibodeau getting upset about balls being tipped out rather than hauled in with two hands, and he seemed to get worn down by the conversation.
“It’s easy to talk about after the game, but every play is different,’’ Noah said. “Guys are shooting three-pointers. I wish I could grab every rebound with two hands, but unfortunately it doesn’t happen that way every time.
“I try to grab them with two [hands] as often as I can, put it that way.’’
Noah had 11 rebounds, and Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 12 boards to go along with his 15 points. It was the 18 rebounds by Washington’s Emeka Okafor, however, that didn’t go over well with Thibodeau.
Then again, the Bulls’ 7-for-16 shooting from three-point range covered up a lot of mistakes. Belinelli made two of three from beyond the arc, showing that he can do just as much damage off the bench as he did starting for Hamilton.
“Just aggressive,’’ Belinelli said. “I came in for the first quarter, and I tried to bring a little energy to the team on offense and defense.
“When you feel like you have confidence from the coach and the coaching staff, teammates, you feel good.’’
That’s more than most of the Bulls can say, considering they shot 39 percent from the field. The Wizards (4-24) were even worse at 36.5 percent.
“It definitely wasn’t pretty; both teams shot low percentages,’’ Noah said. “There are still a lot of things we have to do better, but we’re a work in progress.’’
With more work definitely coming.