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Bulls focus on boards in Pacers rematch

3/24/2014

CHICAGO -- Joakim Noah is certain the Chicago Bulls will make the necessary adjustments to avoid being out-rebounded Monday by the Indiana Pacers by double digits like they were just three days ago.

What adjustments? Noah won't divulge.

"I'm not going to tell you that at 10 o'clock in the morning," Noah said after the team's morning shootaround at the United Center. "We're going to make our adjustments. We're on edge. It's going to be a great game tonight. We're excited."

The Pacers reduced the Bulls' excitement when the teams last met on Friday by going on a 19-0 run in the third quarter and rolling to a 91-79 victory in Indianapolis. The Pacers out-rebounded the Bulls 51-36.

The Bulls and Pacers are two of the NBA's top rebounding teams with both rankings in the top 10. Both teams often thrive by grabbing more rebounds than their opponents, but Noah won't accept the idea the Pacers defeated the Bulls by beating them at their own game on Friday.

"That doesn't mean anything," Noah said. "We've got to go out there and try to win the game. Is rebounding one of our strengths? Yeah. Is rebounding one of their strengths? Yeah. At the end of the day, the game, it's about winning and, of course, rebounding helps winning. We can also put the ball in the hole more times. That's going to help you win the game, too."

The Bulls' rebounding hasn't met coach Tom Thibodeau's standards over the past six games. Since March 13, the Bulls have been out-rebounded by the Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets and tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel said his team enters Monday's game with the same approach regardless of whether the Bulls are rebounding well.

"We always want to win the rebounding battle," Vogel said after his team's shootaround at the United Center. "We want to crash and keep them limited to one shot."

Thibodeau emphasized all of his players have to do a better job rebounding against the Pacers. Noah, with 13 rebounds, was the only Bull with more than five rebounds in their last meeting. The Pacers had four players with six or more rebounds.

"Well, they're big, so we have to gang rebound against them," Thibodeau said. "We have to get everyone in there and everyone involved. We have to go after them more."