As one might expect, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is taking Monday's record-setting defensive performance against Atlanta in stride.
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"If you have a good win, it doesnt mean you have it all figured out. You have to understand why you win and why you lose and make the necessary corrections. Even when you win, theres a lot you have to do better. Usually when you lose, youre more aware. It shouldnt be that way," Thibodeau told reporters after the team's Tuesday afternoon practice at the Berto Center.
"When you win, human nature is when you feel good, thats usually when youre headed for a fall. We want to approach everything the same way, have discipline, be focused, concentrate on improvement, not skip any steps."
It was a typical response from Thibodeau, who presents a constantly even-keeled approach to the media, in contrast to his intense sideline demeanor during games, not to mention a reported tirade directed at his players during Monday's shootaround, addressing their lack of consistency, particular at the United Center.
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But while his players acknowledged their coach's motivational tactics -- Joakim Noah did so, in humorous fashion, in the aftermath of the Bulls' historic smothering of Atlanta's offense -- that didn't mean it was anything out of the ordinary.
"Were used to it. Hes very emotional. He takes getting us ready very seriously," veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich, playing for Thibodeau for the first season in his return to the Bulls. "We as professionals want the same thing. As individuals, we have to make sure were ready to play."
Thibodeau himself also insisted that the evening's result wasn't simply a carry-over effect from the morning session, but a product of better preparation and attention to detail.
"I dont think it was that. They were ready to approach the game in a different manner. I thought readiness to play was important for us. Usually with this team, when we practice well we play well. We had some slippage. When you dont have the opportunity to practice, theres going to be some slippage. You still have to have the ability to make corrections, concentrate and be ready to play. That was the main point of emphasis," he explained.
"Thats part of coaching. As you see things, you have to point them out. I see my job is to tell them the truth as I see it. Each day for us to improve, we have to know the things were not doing well, how we can correct it. Sometimes you do it through film. Sometimes meeting. Sometimes its practice. And sometimes its all three."
Whatever the case, Thibodeau's corrections worked, manifesting themselves in a stellar defensive outing, a tribute to the coach's defense-first philosophy.