Bulls hope to slow ex-teammate Korver

January, 3, 2014
Jan 3
2:27
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau starts to chuckle when the idea of snapping Kyle Korver's three-point streak is broached.

"Well, I don't like to give up three-pointers to anyone," Thibodeau said after Friday's practice. "So that's the way we're going to approach it."

[+] EnlargeKyle Korver
AP Photo/John BazemoreFormer Bull Kyle Korver takes a 101-game three-point streak into Saturday's game at the United Center.
The Bulls know in order to knock off the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, they must find a way to slow down their old teammate. Korver comes into Friday night's game against the Golden State Warriors with an NBA-record 101-game three-point streak.

"We know (three-point shooting) is one of their strengths as a team," Thibodeau said. "It's one of his strengths. So obviously, you've got to get back, get set, keep the ball out of the paint, protect your basket. It requires you to make multiple efforts. You've got to get out to his shot, you've got to have the ability to run him off his shot. And then you have to do that without being undisciplined where you're just giving wide open shots to other people. So it requires you to be very disciplined and to have an awareness of where he is at all times. And he moves great without the ball -- if you turn your head on him he knows how to find an open area. (He's) very clever."

On a personal level, the Bulls are happy to see Korver having so much success in Atlanta. Few within the organization wanted to see him leave a couple summers ago when he was traded to Atlanta so that the Bulls wouldn't go deeper into the luxury tax.

"It's incredible what he's done," Thibodeau said. "I think it's a testament to the way he works, his professionalism, the way he prepares for each game, the way he takes care of himself. It's incredible because you know what he's doing, you prepare for it, and he still finds different ways to (make the shot), and he doesn't take bad ones. He takes good shots, he shoots when he's open, he passes when he's guarded. It's the mark of a winning player."

Injury update: Carlos Boozer did not practice on Friday because of a sore knee. Thibodeau isn't sure whether the veteran power forward will play Saturday. Taj Gibson (wrist) went through most of practice but Thibodeau said he was "fine." Thibodeau also said Luol Deng (Achilles) was fine.

The last word: Thibodeau, on having everyone back aside from Derrick Rose, and trying to get into a rhythm: "That's the important thing. To keep putting the work in that's necessary to win. I think we're moving in the right direction. I think we've improved in a lot of areas, we know we've got a long way to go. There are a number of things that we have to do better. And we just have to continue to take it step by step. I think you can't start looking down the road, you can't look behind at what may have been missed. You've just got to concentrate on your improvement, exactly where you are right now, and move forward from there. And I think now that we have everyone, it allows you to get into a better rhythm both offensively and defensively."

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
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5