How will Thibodeau coach All-Star game?

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How will Thibodeau coach All-Star game?

With his no-nonsense coaching style and defensive mentality, many have wondered how Tom Thibodeau would handle the coaching duties for the Eastern Conference in next weeks All-Star Game in Orlando.

The game is known as more of an offensive showcase than a grind-it-out half court affair; defense is always almost focused on in the All-Star Games final period when players try and focus on getting the win rather than play to crowd.

Can Thibodeau ease up on his principles for just one game?

I think hes going to run the hell out of them, joked Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "I think hell have a good speech for them and theyll have a hard practice.

Thibodeau spent three seasons on Rivers staff in Boston and knows from experience the competitor that his former assistant coach is, but noted that he would probably relax, but still want to win.

I think hell be more relaxed but still standing on the sidelines and if I was Thibs, I play Luol Deng and Derrick Rose at least 47 minutes, said Rivers. I think that would be terrific.

Thibs will be great, he continued. A lot of people keep thinking things about Thibs and he keeps doing the right things. Hes a great coach. Hell have fun. I told him Ill be in town and dont call me, but hell be great. Thibs has been through this.

Rivers offered a story about how in the fourth quarter of the 2008 All-Star Game in New Orleans, Thibodeau kept reminding him how the pay for the winning coaching staff was doubled. The Eastern Conference All-Stars eventually won the contest 134-128 over the West.

Thibs kept saying hey, we want to win this game. Dont you forget it, said Rivers. I wonder if hell do the same now that hes the head coach. I think he will if I know my Thibs.

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

Who are the Bulls? The team that beat Cleveland and Toronto or lost to Dallas, Minnesota and Milwaukee?

That's the question Bulls fans are currently asking and the one Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill posed in the video above.

The Bulls have had impressive wins and shocking losses, but neither of those should be surprising at this point. The Bulls are, as Goodwill put it, consistently inconsistent.

The first half of the season has proven that Dwyane Wade still has some memorable moments left to give and Jimmy Butler continues to approach superstardom. On the downside, the drama surrounding Rajon Rondo has meant the 'three alphas' that were hyped up in the preseason haven't been the dynamic trio some Bulls fans had hoped.

Coach Fred Hoiberg doesn't have the shooters his system needs, but can he still rally the troops and get something out of Rondo?

Watch the video to see Goodwill's look back on the Bulls' first half and what could be ahead.

Five Things to Watch: Bulls host Mavericks in search of third straight win

Five Things to Watch: Bulls host Mavericks in search of third straight win

Watch as the Bulls take on the Mavericks tonight on CSN+ and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. What's Jimmy Butler got in store? On paper, Butler's performance Sunday night against the Grizzlies was nothing special. In fact, in many ways it fell short of his season averages. But Jimmy G. Buckets was on his game in the fourth quarter when the Bulls needed him most, helping them to a crucial road victory in Memphis. Tonight a fast start will be key against a Mavericks team that struggles to play from behind.

2. Dirk Nowitzki is back. The Mavericks are finally getting back to full-strength, and the main contributor to that is Dirk Nowtizki. The future Hall-of-Famer is finally rounding into form after an Achilles injury kept him out of the lineup most of the year. In his last three games, Nowitzki is averaging 20.3 points on 49 percent shooting.

3. There was at least some rumblings that the Bulls might have considered going after Ames native Harrison Barnes this past offseason. Instead, Barnes wound up in Dallas a potential building block for the Mavs. And he's looked pretty solid through the season's first half. Barnes is averaging 20.7 points on 48 percent shooting, 5.4 rebounds and nearly a steal per game in 36 minutes. It'll be a fun matchup watching him go against Jimmy Butler.

4. More 3-pointers on the way? It's easy to say that a 31-point outing will get you going, but maybe Doug McDermott can build on his career night against the Grizzlies. He hit 3 of 6 triples, made 10 of 11 free throws and even added six rebounds and a(nother) block. The Bulls will be able to run more against the Mavs than they were the Grizzlies, meaning more spacing for McDermott to find open shots. If he's hitting early, the Bulls are in good shape.

5. A three-game winning streak on the line. The last time the Bulls won three straight -- earlier this month -- it pushed them over .500. Now they've got a chance to reel off a third straight and again get back over .500. As poorly as the Bulls have played as a whole, the Eastern Conference is wide open at the bottom half of the playoff bracket, so these are opportunities they don't want to miss against a struggling team.

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