Chicago Sun-Times

Circus-trip finale leftovers

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Before heading back to Chicago -- finally! -- I thought I'd empty my notebook and post some quotes before and after the Bulls' 96-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau on Derrick Rose playing 42 minutes and scoring 30 points after missing a game Friday in Denver with a stiff neck.

"When I saw him walking around, he looked a lot better [Saturday] and he said he felt a lot better. After he warmed up, I asked him again and he said he felt great, so I wasn't really concerned about it."

Thibodeau on rallying despite playing for the fourth time in five nights:

"In the NBA, you can find something every night whether it's back-to-back, four-in-five, on the road, home and home, home and away, whatever it might be, injuries. What you would like is to have the mental toughness and the belief that you can win under any circumstances. If you're doing the right things, you should have a chance to win."

Thibs on C.J. Watson, who had to leave the game in the fourth after dislocating a finger on his left hand:

"He actually could have gone back in the game, but the way the game was going, I just didn't want to take any chances with that."

Thibs on second half defensive surge:

"In the second half, it was hard to judge anything we were doing defensively because the intensity wasn't there and our technique wasn't there. In the second half, once the intensity picked up and the technique picked up, it was better.

"In the first half, we did a lot of double-teaming and they only had two turnovers. That tells you a lot about your pressure. I didn't think our pressure was good enough in the first half. The thing that bothered us, they were getting an assist off the first pass."

"We were searching for energy and a lot of guys stepped in."

Rose on whether his neck bothered him:

"Only on certain moves, like me going to the basket. Other than that, it felt good."

Thibodeau defending his decision to play John Lucas at the end of Friday's game in Denver:

"The big thing was I know John is capable of inbounding the ball because he fulfilled that role for us in Houston. So the first thing is, who can inbound the ball and get the ball in cleanly, so I'm confident in his ability to do that.

"And then, you base your decisions on the players you have available at that particular time. John actually was in C.J.'s position, C.J. was in Derrick's position and then Kyle was the guy, obviously, we're trying to get the ball to.

"Once the ball comes in, there's 24 seconds [on the clock], so you knew they were gonna trap and not foul right away. Then you have to get into your alignment and the ball has to move.

"In those situations, John's an excellent free-throw shooter, so I'm confident in his ability to make those. I've seen him make big free throws before. It didn't work out [Friday] night, but it will the next time."

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This page contains a single entry by John Jackson published on November 28, 2010 12:48 AM.

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