Thibodeau: When you're short-handed, you have to have fight
BROOKLYN — Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau received the NBA’s Eastern Conference Coach of the Month award for January.
As one might expect, the coach didn’t exactly get emotional about the honor.
“It’s more a reflection of I have a great staff. I have a great team, great organization. I’ve got a great owner,” he said before the Bulls’ 93-89 loss Friday night. “It’s a byproduct of winning, so you share in everything.”
Despite loss, Gibson appreciates homecoming
Taj Gibson played all 48 minutes of the Bulls’ loss to the Nets, now located in his hometown of Brooklyn.
The exhausted power forward — who mostly played center due to the absence of teammate Joakim Noah — was dejected about the loss, but pleased to see a lot of his old friends.
“It was great. I saw a lot of people from Telecommunications [High School, which he attended]. I saw a lot of people form the Gauchos I used to play with,” Gibson said. “It was a good feeling just being in a great facility, just being able to represent my hometown: Fort Greene, Brooklyn. A lot of people in the stands that work here are from my neighborhood.”
Belinelli-Robinson pairing intrigues Thibodeau
Backup floor general Nate Robinson, starting in place of the injured Kirk Hinrich, struggled with his shot — the typically shoot-first point guard went for 4-for-16 on the evening to get his 12 points — but thrived as a distributor, doling out 11 assists.
Reserve shooting guard Marco Belinelli was utilized as a primary scorer, as well as a primary ballhandler when he was on the floor, switching off with Robinson, en route to scoring 18 points and handing out four assists.
Thibodeau liked the interchangeable duo together and depending on how long Hinrich is out, might be forced to go to the backcourt more often.
“I like that. I think the versatility of both guys because it’s different. The twos, they're primarily accustomed to chasing around screens, catch-and-shoot, and now they have to defend more pick-and-roll,” he explained. “With the ones, they’re used to dribble penetration, pick-and-roll, and now you put them in more catch-and-shoot, and Nate can do both and Marco can do both, so I think it’s a plus.”
Hamilton reflects on end of era
Veteran shooting guard Rip Hamilton is best known for his tenure in Detroit, where he won a 2004 championship with the Pistons and was a two-time All-Star.
Hamilton teamed up with the likes of Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace, but after Ben Wallace, who had a stint in Chicago, semi-retired following last season, the last remaining player from the team’s contending era was Tayshaun Prince.
Prince, who Hamilton still keeps in touch with, was recently dealt to Memphis in a blockbuster trade centered around Rudy Gay, who is now in Toronto.
While some might think Prince would be happy to leave the Pistons, a perennial losing team as of late, Hamilton has long insisted that the veteran small forward likes it in Detroit.
However, getting a chance to be on a winning team could appeal to his friend, Hamilton acknowledged.
“I’m happy for him. It’s a good situation for him. I’m definitely surprised because when I talked to Tay, he told me that Joe wasn’t going to trade him and he was surprised, too, that it happened,” he told CSNChicago.com. “He’s the last one. It’s tough. I know it’s tough for him. It was tough on all of us when we first left.”