Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau can’t win, even when he’s winning. His team topped the Boston Celtics at home on Thursday night, winning for just the fourth time in 10 tries – hardly the sort of success rate he predicted prior to the season, when many expected the Bulls to challenge the Miami Heat for the best record in the East, since they’d topped the team in 2011 and 2012 regular seasons with a healthy Derrick Rose.
Rose is obviously out, now, but supporting All-Stars Joakim Noah and Luol Deng are in the lineup, alongside Jimmy Butler and Rose replacement Kirk Hinrich. All four are dealing with nagging injuries, but they were healthy enough to play in the win. Noah in particular shined with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks, just missing out on a triple-double while finishing with nine assists in 34 minutes. Noah played the entire fourth quarter in a 12-point win, though, obviously gunning for that triple-double with the recovering Butler, Deng and Hinrich all on the floor to end a game that the Bulls led in the fourth by 19 points with four minutes to go.
Following the contest, both Noah and Thibodeau had to answer to criticism for alternately shooting for that pointless statistical hallmark, and for potential overuse of the still-not-quite-100-percent players. From Aggrey Sam at CSN Chicago:Read More »from Joakim Noah and Tom Thibodeau respond to questions about Noah’s chase for a triple-double