Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau to Noah: Get ready for Brooklyn
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org December 13, 2012 10:19PM
Updated: January 15, 2013 11:40AM
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had no problem with Joakim Noah wanting to play the villain in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, but he also wants his high-energy center to start being known as more than just a player driven on emotion.
Noah was over-the-top demonstrative with each basket he made in the win over the 76ers, motivated by the fact that when he went down with a season-ending ankle injury in Game 3 of the postseason in Philadelphia last year, the fans cheered.
“I thought about it all summer. I just couldn’t wait to come back here,’’ Noah said. “I just felt like when I went down last year, people cheering and stuff, I felt like that was real disrespectful and it was definitely motivating for me to work even harder this summer.’’
That’s why he had the finger guns flying after made baskets, as well as a few choice words for nearby fans.
“And I’m going to do it for the rest of my career every time I come back here,’’ Noah said.
Thibodeau offered up a bit of advice for Noah, who has been as good as any center in the East this season.
“The big thing for him is I want him to be consistent with his approach,’’ Thibodeau said. “I don’t want him to be relying on emotion where one game you’re up, one game you’re down. Just approach it the same way each and every day, get ready for the next opponent. This one is over, get ready for Brooklyn. That’s the way it has to be.’’
What Thibodeau liked about the win against the 76ers was that his team was short-handed and coming off a late-start loss to the Clippers the night before.
“The big challenge in the NBA is whatever is in front of you, you’ve got to attack it,’’ Thibodeau said. “You want to have the right attitude and approach for each game, and you want to have the toughness to bounce back.’’