You can say many things about the Bulls. But one thing is sure – they have the will to win (TWTW).
The Bulls narrowly escaped, with a 128 to 125 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, and as Thibs said, they had to win several times.
It would seem that the Bulls are willing to do whatever it takes to miss a Thibs practice, because K.C. Johnson of the Trib reported that Thibs canceled practice on Thursday.
Tonight, Friday, the Bulls face those Wizards (again).
The win vs. Orlando truly demonstrates what the Bulls are all about:
1.) Boozer was still sick during pre-game warmups and it looked like he couldn’t go, but following the solution to all health ailments – Gatorade, and some meds, Boozer came in and scored 23 at the beginning of the game, in just 28 minutes. The Magic left him by himself whenever he shot. I dunno. I think there’s something called defense you’re supposed to implement during basketball games?
2.) Tony Snell, the rook had 15 points! He played all 3OTs and all but 81 seconds of the fourth quarter. He posterized the Magic with a big old dunk in OT2, had a 3-pointer in OT3 and a go-ahead jumper. “The rook, Tony Snell, you’ve got to give him some love,” Noah said. “The ‘Space Jam’ dunk was big and the big jumpers. He played big for us.”
Tony Tony Tony!
3.) Jimmy Butler set a franchise record with his 60 minutes and 21 seconds of play, and yahoo reported he “broke” their scoreboard. “We’re grimy and we play as a team,” he said. “There is no guy that doesn’t give all the effort on every single play. Whenever you play like that, good things happen. The basketball gods will reward you.”
When asked about his readiness to play in OT4, if needed: “I would’ve played,” he said. “But then 911 would’ve been on speed dial. I would’ve passed out.”
Jimmy got his own article about it: Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau Plays Jimmy Butler Franchise-Record 60 Minutes in Game. Actually, just google “jimmy butler 60 minutes” and you’ll get a lot of other hits…
Luol might be at least a tiny bit glad he went to the Cavs, where they play him maybe 33 or 38. Thibs has found his new iron man, and his initials are JB.
4.) DJ Augustin, who got a bit lost in the mix after everyone was so busy checking the record books to verify and report on the 60 minutes…well, DJ scored 19, had 9 assists and 0 turnovers in 40 minutes. Remember, a month and a half ago, we didn’t know his name. [Side note: to read more about DJ’s amazing journey and life and basketball, read Sam Smith’s story: Augustin used to weathering the storm.]
“He was terrific in the pick-and-roll, made a lot of really good plays to Jo,” Thibodeau said.
5.) Most important to the victory was the current centerpiece of the team, Joakim Noah. He had 26 points and 19 rebounds. He was kind of a “load”, which is how Thibs typically describes the center on the opposition.
Here’s Thibs speaking of Jo post-game: “He has a great will to win..no matter what is going on in the game…he was terrific in every aspect of the game tonight. But even sometimes when things aren’t going his way, when the game’s on the line, he’ll find a way to make something happen.”
To read more about the man, the legend, the Bulls’ 2013-2014 All-Star, Jo and Thibs’ undying praise, read K.C. Johnson’s (Chicago Tribune) article, Bulls’ Joakim Noah playing like an All-Star.
Thibs has also found a backup career in stand up comedy, if neither the Bulls gig nor his alleged Knicks gig work out. He tried to make a funny about the 60 minutes thing – “That’s my favorite TV show.”
Wow, he knew it was a show!
The guys on the SCORE had a field day with it the following morning.
Thibs: Knock knock.
Audience: Who’s there?
Thibs: Do your job
Thibs: Knock knock
Audience: Who’s there?
Thibs: We have more than enough.
So in what many wanted to be a tanked season, the Bulls are ending up with unimaginable wins and even a few laughs…or as good as it will get around here.
Oh, except for Jo and his tights:
After laboring to pull on form-fitting black tights, worn to aid recovery by promoting circulation, Joakim Noah – “You think this is all fun and games?” he asked no one in particular. “I’m wearing tights!”
Beat the Wizards (please)!