The Bulls wrapped up the No. 1 overall seed throughout the playoffs and will face the Philadelphia 76ers to start the postseason on Saturday.
Tom Thibodeau's message was clear in his postgame speech after Wednesday nights win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Be ready, be ready, proclaimed Tom Thibodeau. When the ball goes up, be ready, be ready...Tomorrow, I want to have a great day in practice. Great focus, great concentration.
Its unusual and we knew this is how it would be, basically, the playoffs are a continuation of the regular season. Youre looking at one day for prep and then youre playing. There wasnt going to be a big break in between, so I think it was important to stay in rhythm and also try to be as healthy as possible.
Theres been some perceived bulletin board material in the news in the last 48 hours regarding Chicago native and Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner's preference on matching up against the Bulls rather than the Miami Heat, who defeated them in five games in the first round in last seasons playoffs.
Thibodeau shot down a chance to respond to Turners comments which Turner later said the full point of his statements was not included in the original report and so did most of the players.
I love it, said a joyful Richard Hamilton when hearing about Turners comments. You just have to give them what they asked for. Its going to be a challenge for us and for them. We just feel if we stick to our gameplan and the way we want to play, good things are going to happen for us.
The Bulls won the season series between the two teams 2-1, but thats out the window as they know Philadelphia does pose some problems for them.
Theyre a team, said Carlos Boozer. They dont have that one guy that they go to thats going to take 25 shots. They have a bunch of guys that can give you 15 points and we have to do a good job. Theyre deep, play well together, good chemistry and theyre a fast team. They get a lot of steals and they get out in transition. They pose a challenge for us but we look forward to it.
Despite many observers concerns, the Bulls arent shying away from a physical series either.
Thats really how playoff basketball is, said Thibodeau. We can play fast, slow and a lot of different ways. I think in the playoffs, you win a lot of different ways. You have to find ways to win. Im sure it will be a hard-fought contest.