Tom Thibodeau says Bulls must realize they won’t get calls vs. Heat
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com May 9, 2013 11:02PM
Chicago Bulls guard Marco Belinelli, of Italy (8) restrains center Joakim Noah, far right, as he yells out after he and Miami Heat forward LeBron James, far left, received technical fouls during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball playoff series in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Best of seven
Updated: June 11, 2013 6:45AM
The gamesmanship for Game 3 has begun.
After watching Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah get ejected in the embarrassing Game 2 loss Wednesday night in Miami, coach Tom Thibodeau started planting the seed that the series hasn’t been officiated equally.
“Not only Joakim, but our entire team,’’ Thibodeau said about his players having to show more composure.
“We’ve got to do better, do a better job with that. You can’t get sidetracked.
‘‘We know how it’s going to be called. We’re not going to get calls. We just have to be tough mentally, physically, emotionally. We’ve got to be a lot stronger.’’
When asked what he meant by “we’re not going to get calls,’’ Thibodeau wouldn’t come right out and say the defending champs, with all their star power, were going to get the benefit of the doubt over the Derrick Rose-less, blue-collar team from Chicago, but that was the implication.
“That’s just the way it is,’’ Thibodeau said. “We didn’t allow that to impact us in Game 1, and I thought we allowed it to impact us in Game 2.’’
The good news for the Bulls was that they hadn’t heard from the league as of Thursday afternoon about any punishment for Gibson and Noah. Fines were coming, but the hope was no suspensions.
Thibodeau was asked if he was surprised his players allowed the Heat and the officials to unhinge them, and he said, “It’s playoff basketball, it’s emotional, so we had some calls that didn’t go our way. We can handle it better.’’
Thibodeau did add one little jab.
“That’s just the nature of the playoffs,’’ he said. ‘‘Games are emotional, they’re physical. [The Heat is] saying a lot of things, too.’’
Asked about a Heat fan, Filomena Tobias, putting her middle finger in Noah’s face as he walked off the court after his fourth-quarter ejection, Thibodeau was glad Noah didn’t make the situation worse.
“You can’t get wrapped up in stuff that’s not important,’’ Thibodeau said.
“The important stuff is to concentrate on doing your job and to have the toughness, the physical and mental and emotional toughness, to get through all the things that you have to go through on the road.’’
Rip remains MIA
Richard Hamilton remains out of the rotation, and that likely won’t be changing.
“He’s feeling OK, but I still don’t think he’s moving great,’’ Thibodeau said of Hamilton, who had back problems in the second half of the season. “It’s a tough situation. He’s handling it well.’’