Bulls hope refs can fairly rein in flopping

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
10:58
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Joakim Noah might have summed up everyone's feelings on the new flopping rules imposed by the NBA during the first couple days of training camp. The Bulls' big man said what fans have been feeling for years.

"Flopping is annoying," Noah said at the time.

As for how the league will be able use the new rules, the center wasn't so sure.

"I guess I think that that's a good rule," he said. "It's going to be hard to enforce because it's pretty opinionated, but we'll see."

[+] EnlargeTom Thibodeau
Douglas Jones/US PresswireTom Thibodeau was pleased after his team's meeting with an NBA referee on Monday.
That's been the opinion of most players in Tom Thibodeau's locker room. It was just one of many different issues the Bulls went over with veteran official, and the director of D-League officials, George Toliver on Monday afternoon. It was an experience that both players and coaches were appreciative of.

"Just different points of emphasis, so it's all good," Thibodeau said. "They do a great job, they bring a tape in, they go over things with the players so I think it's good."

As for the flopping, Thibodeau, like his players, is just hoping it all shakes out. He doesn't like the flopping any more than any other fan.

"It's not just defensive flopping, it's offensive flopping," Thibodeau said. "It's things that are being done with the ball, where I think it's gone too much in the other direction. I think all that stuff, and the league's usually on top of it ... I think the product's really good right now. Each year things creep in and usually they nip it in the bud."

Luol Deng agreed with his coach.

"I think it's just (going to be) how the season goes," Deng said. "There's still a gray line right there. Not a lot of guys can really take a charge without flopping so I wonder how they're going to treat that one because if I keep just taking the hit and I don't fall do you call the charge? So we just got to get a better understanding of it, but I think the guys that play the game the right way and just play normal won't have any trouble at all. I think we just got to get it a little clearer. It's just one of the things like when we changed the ball a lot of guys weren't comfortable in the beginning but you get used to it after a while."

Shooters needed: Marco Belinelli and Vladimir Radmanovic, the two players the Bulls brought in to help replace the void left by Kyle Korver, are a combined 0-for-9 from beyond the arc. Deng isn't concerned, though. He believes his new teammates will find a groove soon.

"I think it will come," Deng said. "Thibs' system is really simple, once you get it down it's the same thing over and over again. I think those guys are just brand new to it. And at the same time, we're doing a lot in practice. No excuses for missing shots or anything but this time of the year your legs are a little heavy, but guys will get their rhythm and start feeling better."

The last word: Noah, on what needs to improve most for the Bulls as they head into a preseason tilt against the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night.

"I think our offense is a little too stagnant right now. It's only going to get better with practice, the more we play together I think the better it will get."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.5 3.4 1.6 39.8
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.7
AssistsD. Rose 5.1
StealsJ. Butler 1.6
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0