PHILADELPHIA After knocking down five three-pointers en route to 17 points in the Bulls Monday night win in Washington, Kyle Korver joked that when Luol Deng seated in the locker-room stall next to him in the Verizon Center, eating a postgame meal returns to the lineup from an injured left wrist, its back to the bench. Maybe so, but it wont necessarily mean he wont see significant minutes.
Korvers rebounding and defense, two aspects of his game that hes greatly improved this season, have earned the confidence of Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.
He was great. He had a tough matchup with Wizards forward Rashard Lewis and I thought he battled. I thought his defense was excellent, said the coach. Hitting threes -- I believe he had five tonight -- thats huge. It just spreads the floor. The three-point shot, for Derrick Rose, is critical.
Korver had been mired in a slump, but started to break out of it Sunday in Miami, then showed he had truly gotten back into rhythm against the Wizards.
It was nice to be out there for a good period of time. I think its good when you know youre going to have more time. Youre not worried that, I might only get three, four shots, so youre able to be a little bit more patient. Got some good looks, probably should have made a few that I missed, explained Korver, who will play against the 76ers, the team where he started his NBA career, Wednesday. I just dont like to miss shots and if Im not shooting the ball well, Im going to put in the extra time to try to find the rhythm, but I dont think theres any extra pressure that I put on myself.
Its always good to have rhythm. I think one of the strengths of this team all year has been weve had a lot of guys out this year and a lot of different guys have stepped up, and when its been their kind of turn, theyve taken advantage of it. Were a team that wants to win a championship, so no ones out there to try to get theirs. We all have our role and were very accepting of it, continued Korver, known as one of the leagues top marksmen, before explaining his approach to playing an all-around game. Just play solid basketball. When the shots there, Im going to take it. When the right plays to make the pass, Im going to swing it. You just try to be in the right position on offense and defense, and try not to let your man score. Work the system. Thats what Thibs preaches. Keep on trying to grow as a basketball player.