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Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau dislikes play but loves Nate Robinson’s unselfishness


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Updated: November 20, 2012 11:11AM

Guard Nate Robinson knew the fallout was coming.

In the 100-94 victory Tuesday over the Milwaukee Bucks, Robinson threw a pass off the backboard for a Jimmy Butler dunk on a breakaway in the second quarter.

Robinson knew coach Tom Thibodeau wasn’t happy with the play, and he expected to get the call into the principal’s office even though he said, ‘‘I ain’t going to do it again.’’

“Yeah, we talked about it,’’ Thibodeau said. “Obviously I didn’t like the play. I like the unselfishness, though, and I told him that. I liked the fact that he saw Jimmy coming down, and he wanted to drop it off to him and let him score. Other than that play, I thought he did a lot of good things for us. I just want him to channel that the right way. I want him to make winning basketball plays, and I want that to be first and foremost, and I think it’s important to respect the game.’’

Robinson’s belief that flashy plays get a team’s energy going is hard for Thibodeau to accept.

“The plays that are uniting and inspire your team are winning plays,’’ Thibodeau said. “I thought he made a lot of winning plays in the game. The intention was right; he was unselfish. He saw Jimmy coming but just turn around, drop it off and let him lay it in.’’

All is quiet

Forward/center Taj Gibson remained hopeful that a deal could be worked out with the Bulls before the Oct. 31 deadline, reiterating that Chicago was where he wanted to stay.

If an extension can’t be done before the deadline, Gibson becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season with the Bulls having to decide to match any offer sheet thrown in his direction.

Around the rim

Guard Kirk Hinrich was back at practice Thursday after missing Tuesday’s game with a sore right thumb.

† Center Kyrylo Fesenko was waived, bringing the roster down to 15.

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