MINNEAPOLIS -- Derrick Rose might have summed up his team's attitude best when it comes to how they are preparing for the final game in a tough back-to-back-to-back stretch Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards.
"On this team, you can't reserve [energy]," Rose said after Tuesday night's 111-100 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. "Thibs will take you out the game. When you're out there, you've got to give it your all, no matter what and play hard. That's his biggest thing. But I think everyone knew this year you were going to have to be in very good condition and condition yourself before the season start.I think I'm in good condition. I think I'm ready for this season. I think my teammates are, and that's why we have a winning record."
In Tom Thibodeau's world, there is no such thing as reserving anything. He wants his players to play as hard as they can for as long as they can and he wants them to do it every night. That's what the veteran coach isn't viewing Wednesday night's game much differently than he would any other contest.
"It's the next one," Thibodeau said. "Again you've got to do all the things that are necessary to prepare yourself to play well. Get your rest, get back, study. Watch some film. Study the game plan, the scouting report. Have a good walk-through. And be ready when the ball goes up."
Bulls guard Ronnie Brewer admitted that Wednesday night's game may actually be more mental than physical.
"Very much so," he said. "I think it's the most important, too. Because the first game, you're fresh. The second game on the back to back, guys are used to it. You've got to dig deep, you've got to execute on offense and defense. The third game on a back to back to back is mental and physical. Your body's going to be dragging a little bit. It's going to tell you not to push through, but you've got to focus on every possession on offense, every possession on defense. And it's at home. You want to take care of home court and you want to get the win."