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Friday, February 10, 2012
Bulls giving worst teams best effort

By Nick Friedell

CHARLOTTE -- Tom Thibodeau knew his team was capable of, and he knew it long before anyone else.

While the rest of the league might be surprised by the fact that the Bulls have become the first team in league history to win four games by more than 20 points on the road, Thibodeau just took the news in stride. He has mentally prepared his team for games all year, against good teams and bad. As far as Thibodeau is concerned, the Bulls did nothing more than take care of business on Friday night by throttling the hapless Bobcats 95-64.

Taj Gibson
The Bulls didn't need Derrick Rose against the woeful Bobcats.

"Overall, from the start of camp, I thought our team's attitude and approach to the games has been very good," Thibodeau said. "And I don't think it changes from game to game. And I think that's really important. Again, we don't want to look behind, we don't want to look ahead, we just want to stare at exactly what's in front of us."

That sums up Thibodeau's entire coaching philosophy in a nutshell. He has his team prepared no matter whom they are playing on a given night. That's why the Bulls head into Sunday's showdown with the Boston Celtics with a 23-6 record. That's also why the Bobcats are now 3-23.

"We're focused right now," Bulls center Joakim Noah said. "We're just trying to play the right way. Whatever the challenge is, we're just trying to play the right way. And I think we're definitely getting better. It's a good feeling. There's a big one coming up on Sunday and we just didn't want to have any letdowns coming into this game. We handled our business."

That's biggest take away from the Bulls' recent hot streak. Many teams in the NBA would have had an off night against this string of bad teams (Milwaukee, New Jersey, New Orleans and Charlotte). Not the Bulls. They take on the challenge of playing against any team the same way. It's a credit to Thibodeau and his coaching staff.

"I just think we've gotten better," Bulls forward Carlos Boozer said. "We're not the same team we were. I think we've improved. I think guys great experience to help us out. When we go to our bench we don't lose anything ... I just think we're getting better at what we do. We know what we're trying to accomplish on both sides of the ball. And I think we're getting better at it."

That is a very scary thought for the rest of the NBA. The Bulls aren't just dominating teams every night, they are constantly working on improving. They are getting better, and they know it.

"It means that we're playing good basketball," Bulls guard Kyle Korver said of the record. "It makes this forever long road trip much more bearable. It's been a grind of a trip, but I think guys have been focused. We've studied hard. We've known our personnel. Different guys have stepped up on different nights, it hasn't been one person carrying the load every night. We feel like we're playing probably our best basketball of the season. That gives us confidence."