Friday, March 29, 2013
No Bulls back patting after Heat win
By Doug Padilla
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Don't bother discussing the Miami Heat anymore because the Chicago Bulls aren't going there.
Two days after a stirring victory that snapped a 27-game winning streak by the defending champions, the Bulls weren't waxing poetic about momentum, team unity, lessons learned or anything else that came from a night when they accomplished something no other NBA team had done since the start of February.
"We've already moved on," head coach Tom Thibodeau said after practice Friday. "All we're thinking about is Dallas (on Saturday afternoon). You study, make your corrections and get ready for your next opponent. Never forget what's in front of you."
As for the idea that the bruising style they showed while beating the Heat is something that will be hard to sustain from now until their season ultimately ends, even that notion was squashed.
"I mean honestly, I didn't think it was that physical of a game," the Bulls' Nazr Mohammed said. "I hate to say that, but it was a regular basketball game. It wasn't any more physical than any other night. There are some nights that games are a little less physical, but it wasn't playoff-level physical."
Mohammed even tried to claim that he had forgotten about the victory over the Heat.
Moving focus toward Saturday's game at Dallas is obviously the smart move, but the Bulls would seem wise to carry at least some of the Heat momentum with them.
They have shown alarming inconsistency this month -- see losses at Sacramento and at home against the Portland Trail Blazers – so having a little swagger about them while facing the Mavericks on the road wouldn't be a bad thing.
"The same things always go into winning," Thibodeau said. "What we're trying to do is just continue to improve and play our best going down the stretch and try to get as healthy as possible."
Even more proof that the Bulls are only focused on the Mavericks came when Thibodeau was asked about the playoffs. Having already clinched a playoff berth and in possession of the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference, do the Bulls focus on seeding now?
"That's the challenge, to not get distracted," Thibodeau said. "You don't want to look backward or ahead. When you do that, you take your eye off what's really important and that's your next game and your improvement. If we do that, all that stuff will take care of itself."