Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau knows how important it’s going to be for his team to start showing some toughness on a consistent basis.
Thibodeau liked the final result, but not the total effort.
“It really started in the first quarter because there was really no defensive tone to the game,” he said. “The second quarter was an abomination. We let guys get to their sprints and we gave them everything.
“We gave them pick-and-rolls, we gave them cuts, we were ball watching, lacked awareness, and allowed guys to play to their sprints. You do that and you are going to dig yourself in a hole and we did and then we battled back.”
It took awhile for the Bulls to show some toughness. But it came eventually.
“They kept us within striking distance,” Thibodeau said. “I thought the start of the third was very good. Then the fourth we showed a lot of toughness.”
“It was important but we dodged a bullet. Detroit plays hard and we are lucky to get out of there with a win,” said Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich.
Joakim Noah came through with 30 points and 23 rebounds.
“He has been huge for us every night. He goes to the boards all of the time. He is high energy and every game he brings that intensity,” Hinrich said. “We knew he was getting almost every rebound. There were times where he had three or four tips and I knew it was going to be at least 20.”