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Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Opening Tip: Bulls quiet before deadline

By Nick Friedell

TORONTO -- Chicago Bulls executive vice president John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman are already on record as saying they don't think any big deal will happen for their team before Thursday's trade deadline. While anything is possible in the NBA, especially wwith regard to last-minute swapping, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau seems to share those sentiments.

"This time of the year there's a lot of conversations," Thibodeau said after Tuesday's practice. "Usually not a lot gets done, but they'll be talking to everybody. That's normal this time of the year."

The Bulls already made a major move in early January by trading away Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers. And while veterans such as Mike Dunleavy and Kirk Hinrich have had their names floated in trade speculation, the general feeling around this team is that nothing will go down on Wednesday.

"There's constant dialogue that they have with teams throughout the course of the season," Thibodeau said of the front office. "And that's what they have to do is just to stay current on not only what might be happening in terms of us, but in terms of the league in general. So they stay abreast and if something makes sense they'll consider it, they'll bring it to me, they'll get my opinion, and that's all I can ask for."

No matter what the Bulls end up doing, Thibodeau and his players remain confident that they will continue to find ways to win. The players have bonded over the fact that plenty of people around the league have counted them out.

"There's definitely a lot of basketball left," All-Star center Joakim Noah said. "We're just taking it game by game. There's 30 games left -- I think we ended the break pretty well. And we're playing good basketball right now. It's not time to exhale. We just got to keep pushing and then the fun starts."

What's next: The Bulls open up their post-All-Star-break run to the finish on Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors.

Bulls get up and down floor: Thibodeau acknowledged that his team did a little scrimmaging to get back into a rhythm during Tuesday's practice. "When you come off a break you want to get used to handling a ball again," he said. "Playing at a game speed, so we did a little bit of everything. Some defense, some shooting, some ballhandling, scrimmaging, some special situations. So you're touching on everything."

The last word: Thibodeau, on what he did during some of his time off during the break:

"I'm at the movie theater, that's where I live," he joked. "That's where you can find me. 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' very good. 'Lone Survivor,' very good. I don't know what to do with all my time."