Bulls pounce back vs. Bobcats
February 22, 2013 10:54PM
Chicago Bulls' Taj Gibson (22) shoots over Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood (33) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. The Bulls won 105-75. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) ORG XMIT: NCCB109
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Updated: March 24, 2013 6:17AM
CHARLOTTE — The main topic of discussion in the local media, the national media or even in his own locker room didn’t matter. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau put an end to the Reggie Rose chatter Friday.
“That’s gone, that’s gone, move on,’’ Thibodeau snapped when asked if he was pleased with how the organization handled the situation.
After the trade deadline passed Thursday, Reggie Rose, the older brother and manager of Derrick Rose, questioned the direction of the franchise in an interview with ESPN Chicago.
Thibodeau is in the business of keeping drama on the court, so he wasn’t about to reopen what he deemed old news.
He wanted to move on, and he wanted his team to follow his lead.
Mission accomplished as the Bulls put an abysmal performance against the Miami Heat behind them and dominated the Charlotte Bobcats 105-75.
“We just wanted to come with the right approach even though it’s not the same caliber team [as the Heat], but I think we came with the right mind-set,’’ center Joakim Noah said. “It’s always tough to play back-to-back, and it was a good team win.’’
And one free of a serious Heat hangover.
“Again, it was the disappointment because we didn’t play well [in the loss to the Heat],’’ Thibodeau said. “The important thing was the way we approached [Friday]. To learn from our mistakes but be ready to play [against the Bobcats].
‘‘You can use the out of back-to-back [games], getting in late, whatever, and I thought we chose none of that. We chose to work and come out ready. We got the lead early and played hard, played well.’’
Even more impressive, they did it with guard Kirk Hinrich (right elbow) out of the lineup again, and that hasn’t been an easy task this season. The Bulls (32-23) are only 5-9 without Hinrich.
Hinrich broke open the stitches in his first game back Tuesday after missing seven in a row before the All-Star break, so the hope is some time off will allow it to heal and limit the chance of the area getting infected again.
“We’ll see where he is [Sunday against Oklahoma City],’’ Thibodeau said.
Considering the ball movement displayed in the latest win, Hinrich picked a good night to rest.
After a season-worst 27 turnovers against the Heat, the Bulls had only six against the Bobcats. The Bulls also had 37 assists, and eight players scored in double figures.
“We were disappointed in the way we played, and we felt like we beat ourselves [Thursday night], so we wanted to correct that,’’ Thibodeau said. “I thought we responded well to that.’’
No one responded better than forward Taj Gibson.
Admittedly, Gibson had hit a little wall lately, scoring six or fewer points in five of his last six games. Against the Bobcats, however, he scored a team-high 17, going 8-for-11 from the field, and grabbed six rebounds.
“It’s tough,’’ Gibson said. “I’m a guy that does the things that the team needs me to do. Whatever the team needs me to do, that’s what I do.
‘‘I’m not worried about scoring. I’m just worried about helping my teammates in different ways, and that’s tough at times. I hit a little wall, but you just gotta keep on playing.’’