Thibodeau not looking to make changes

Updated: January 13, 2012, 3:27 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

BOSTON -- His two starting -- and most expensive -- big men might struggle to find their way on to the court in the fourth quarter, but Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he is still depending on Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer.

The Noah and Boozer pairing -- which accounts for about $140 million in salary -- has struggled to play together on the floor, and the duo has been benched four times in the fourth quarter this season.

But Thibodeau, whose 10-2 Bulls play the Boston Celtics on Friday night, said the answer is not a change in the starting lineup.

"We're going to do what's best for our team, for winning," Thibodeau said after Friday morning's shootaround. "Most times [Boozer and Noah] are going to be out there. In certain situations, if teams are small, if they have shooting on the floor, then sometimes you have to change. But most of the time they're going to be out there."

Thibodeau has opted for Taj Gibson and Omer Asik at the end of games recently, and he acknowledged the notion that the two could be viewed in some regard as "defensive closers."

"I have a lot of confidence in both. You can make a case that they're all starters. And sometimes you may have a big who's in foul trouble. [The opponent] has a big up front that is scoring in the low post so you go to your bench so you can play aggressively. All four guys, we need them, and we count on them."

Thibodeau debunked the notion that he has to talk to Noah, who is averaging 7.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and shooting 39 percent from the floor.

"Noah's fine," Thibodeau said. "His rebounding is fine. He's been plagued with some foul trouble. He'll be fine."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

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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