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For now, Noah and Hinrich both a go for Game 2
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Apr 21
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau more or less admitted that there weren’t a lot of positives to take from his team’s Game 1 loss to the Nets in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
However, on Sunday afternoon following a meeting at the team’s hotel in New York City, he reported that Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich feel “pretty good,” adding that as of now, both will play in Monday’s Game 2 at the Barclays Center.
Noah has been battling a painful case of plantar fasciitis, but he started Saturday and played 13 minutes. Hinrich, on the other hand, left Game 1 in the third quarter with a left thigh bruise and did not return.
“He’s relatively good for where he is,” Thibodeau clarified with respect to Noah. “Not quite the same soreness he had previously, so he feels like he can do something today, which is a good sign. We’ll see where he is tomorrow.”
Despite Noah not being at full strength, Thibodeau said he still provides the Bulls with a lot when he’s on the floor.
“He’s a plus,” said Thibodeau of Noah. “We feed off what he can do defensively, and offensively he has a very unique skill set because of the way he can pass the ball.”
Thibodeau and the Bulls are looking to even up their best of seven series with the Nets, who went on a 10-2 run at the end of the first quarter and outscored Chicago 35-21 in the second quarter to build an insurmountable lead.
“We disappointed, we played poorly,” said Thibodeau of Game 1. “We have to change the mentality and correct the mistakes. Brooklyn is a terrific team and they’ve been playing great down the stretch. They had good momentum and they’re going to challenge you. We have to be ready to respond.”
Thibodeau spelled out an number of ways the Bulls can improve—playing for a full 48 minutes, working as a more cohesive unit, and having a multiple effort mentality—but he said he was most disappointed in the team’s ability to rebound and defend.
“Our defense and rebounding, we have to be able to count on that,” said Thibodeau. “There will be some nights you don’t shoot as well as others but the defense and the rebounding has to be there, particularly against this team. They’re very, very good offensively and they’ve been scoring a lot of points over the last ten regular season games. We’re catching a team that is in rhythm and we have to establish ourselves.”
Audio—Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau meets the media (04.21.2013):