Small gains, little trade talk as Bulls come out of break
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter February 18, 2014 7:32PM
Bulls at Raptors
The facts: 6 p.m., CSN, 1000-AM.
Updated: February 19, 2014 2:33AM
It’s always about film with Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.
Game film on most days, hit films during the All-Star Break.
‘‘I’m at the movie theater — that’s where you can find me,’’ Thibodeau said Tuesday when asked about his four-day break. ‘‘ ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ very good. ‘Lone Survivor,’ very good. So, I don’t know what to do with all my time. Got a chance to look at some things we did in the first half, get ready for the second, did some relaxation, good break.’’
Little ever changes for Thibodeau, and with the trade deadline approaching Thursday, little seemingly has changed for the Bulls on the trade front.
General manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said last week they didn’t expect much movement for the Bulls, and that was reiterated through Thibodeau with the Bulls back from the break.
‘‘Yeah, this time of the year there’s a lot of conversations,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘Usually not a lot gets down, but they’ll be talking to everybody. That’s normal this time of the year.’’
And helpful. Think of it as gathering intelligence for what could be the most important summer since the Paxson/Forman duo came together.
‘‘Yeah, there’s constant dialogue that they have with teams throughout the course of a season, and that’s what they have to do just to stay current,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘Not only with what might be happening in terms of us, but in terms of the league in general. So they stay abreast, and if something makes sense, they’ll consider it, they’ll bring it to me, they’ll get my opinion, and that’s all I can ask for.’’
Thibodeau also has been asking for extra bodies lately. They came on Tuesday, with forward Carlos Boozer (left calf) healthy and well rested over the weekend and the Bulls signing 6-9 forward Jarvis Varnado to a 10-day contract.
That gives them 13 players on the roster and more bodies for Thibodeau to practice with.
‘‘Watch out,’’ Thibodeau said with a hint of sarcasm when asked what Varnado brings. ‘‘Yeah, we’ve kept abreast of what he’s done. We followed him in college, and of course in the D-League, Boston and Miami. He’s gotten better. He has a lot of the qualities that we’re looking for. We’re excited to have him.’’
Thibodeau wasted little time getting Varnado accustomed to the intensity of Bulls basketball. Practice on Tuesday lasted almost two hours.
The schedule the final two months of the regular season is much tougher than the last two months have been, and the Bulls still have big plans even without Derrick Rose (right knee).
‘‘We’ve been through a lot this year,’’ Boozer said. ‘‘We’re still going through a little bit of stuff here and there. But for us to get home court [in the playoffs] would be great. As high a seed as we can get would help us a lot. We play great at home. We also have played pretty good on the road this year. But we want to get as high a seed as we can. And we’re in good position to do so.’’
Center Joakim Noah said they’re also in the right frame of mind.
‘‘I’m proud of the way the team is competing right now,’’ Noah said. ‘‘I think we can still get a lot better. That’s a real positive. Just like I said, we’re not trying to take anything for granted.
‘‘Playing for the Chicago Bulls is something nobody should take for granted. And just have no regrets when it’s all said and done. Just do your best.’’