Bulls back in familiar role -- underdogs

April, 25, 2014
Apr 25
12:00
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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WASHINGTON -- Tom Thibodeau and his Chicago Bulls are back in a familiar role, a role they usually thrive in, as they try to climb out of an 0-2 hole against the Washington Wizards.

Once again, they are the underdogs.

[+] EnlargeTom Thibodeau
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastTom Thibodeau's Bulls have thrived in the underdog role this season.
"Hey look, we've been counted out all season long, many times," Thibodeau said after Friday's shootaround. "It's a resilient group, just bounce back. We understand what goes into winning. It takes four to win a series. We're just trying to get the first one."

Thibodeau and his players seemed upbeat about their chances to win Game 3 on Friday night and get back into this series, despite the fact that many pundits, including TNT analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who believe this series is over.

"Just quarter by quarter, just be ready," Thibodeau said. "That's the playoffs. You don't change what you have to do. It's a possession by possession game. You have to make more winning plays over a course of a game, so it's not any one particular play. Just be ready at the start. Know your job, do your job. Make more winning plays than they do."

Wall on Game 3: Wizards point guard John Wall had an interesting take on Friday's game.

"The main thing is try to win Game 3 and that's the most important game of this series right now in my opinion," Wall said. "If you can lose this game, you can lose the next one too. Everybody has their opinions and what they're thinking, but we know what we're focused on as a team."

Fixing the fourth-quarter offense: The Bulls only made four field goals in the final 12:16 of Tuesday's Game 2 loss. Taj Gibson knows his team must focus better down the stretch to pick up a victory in Game 3.

"We need to take care of the ball first," Gibson said. "We turned it over, we did a lot of things we don't normally do. We fouled at times when we don't normally foul late in the season. We do those kinds of things the right way we should be fine. When it comes down to offense we got to find the right kind of shot.

"We've been having good looks we just couldn't knock them down. Normally guys like myself, D.J. (Augustin), Kirk (Hinrich) we knock certain kind of shots down, but in the playoffs it's kind of different. There's no excuses, we have to just handle business, we went over a lot of different plays with Thibs. And I look forward to seeing a lot of different guys in the lineup late in the fourth."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5