Bulls

How will Thibodeau coach All-Star game?

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How will Thibodeau coach All-Star game?

With his no-nonsense coaching style and defensive mentality, many have wondered how Tom Thibodeau would handle the coaching duties for the Eastern Conference in next weeks All-Star Game in Orlando.

The game is known as more of an offensive showcase than a grind-it-out half court affair; defense is always almost focused on in the All-Star Games final period when players try and focus on getting the win rather than play to crowd.

Can Thibodeau ease up on his principles for just one game?

I think hes going to run the hell out of them, joked Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "I think hell have a good speech for them and theyll have a hard practice.

Thibodeau spent three seasons on Rivers staff in Boston and knows from experience the competitor that his former assistant coach is, but noted that he would probably relax, but still want to win.

I think hell be more relaxed but still standing on the sidelines and if I was Thibs, I play Luol Deng and Derrick Rose at least 47 minutes, said Rivers. I think that would be terrific.

Thibs will be great, he continued. A lot of people keep thinking things about Thibs and he keeps doing the right things. Hes a great coach. Hell have fun. I told him Ill be in town and dont call me, but hell be great. Thibs has been through this.

Rivers offered a story about how in the fourth quarter of the 2008 All-Star Game in New Orleans, Thibodeau kept reminding him how the pay for the winning coaching staff was doubled. The Eastern Conference All-Stars eventually won the contest 134-128 over the West.

Thibs kept saying hey, we want to win this game. Dont you forget it, said Rivers. I wonder if hell do the same now that hes the head coach. I think he will if I know my Thibs.

Bulls Outsiders Podcast: Reaction to season opening loss to Hornets

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Bulls Outsiders Podcast: Reaction to season opening loss to Hornets

On this edition of Bulls Outsiders, Matt Peck, Dave Watson, and John Sabine react to the Bulls 126-125 loss to the Hornets on opening night.

0:45 - Welcome to season 2 of Outsiders

2:20 - On Bulls blowing a 10 point lead w just over 6 minutes left

5:10 - On Boylen’s rotations in the 4th quarter

7:50 - On Lauri Markkanen’s performance, lack of touches down the stretch

9:40 - Viewer comment on the loss

11:05 - Viewer comment on Coby and Dunn in 2nd unit

13:00 - Viewer comment on negative reaction to LaVine- Matt gets fired up

16:10 - On Coby White and his rookie debut

18:45 - Viewer comment on White not playing down the stretch

20:40 - Viewer comment on Markkanen and all-star chances

23:20 - Our bold predictions for the upcoming season

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Bulls' late collapse in season-opening loss is ugly on many levels

Bulls' late collapse in season-opening loss is ugly on many levels

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Zach LaVine finally knocked down a 3-pointer, his only one of Wednesday night, pushing the Bulls ahead by 10 points with  6 minutes, 19 seconds left in the season opener.

The Bulls had rallied from a sluggish start, particularly at the defensive end, to take their second 10-point lead of the final quarter. Then, the wheels fell off.

The Hornets stormed back with a 15-1 run that featured all the elements that had defined the sluggish start---poor transition defense, lack of rotations to cover open 3-point shooters, more dribbling than passing offensively.

"We need to do a better job of executing down the stretch," coach Jim Boylen said. "When the ball sticks, we’re not as good a team. I thought the ball stuck a little bit at the end there. We gotta get good shots."

Consider this: The Bulls followed LaVine's 3-pointer with turnovers by LaVine and Coby White, who otherwise played well in his NBA debut with 17 points and seven asssists. Devonte Graham sank back-to-back 3-pointers around three point-blank misses by the Bulls, including Wendell Carter Jr.'s tip attempt of a missed driving layup by White. LaVine clanked two more 3-pointers. Otto Porter Jr. missed a 3-pointer. The Bulls inexplicably committed a shot-clock violation.

"We have to put the ball in our playmakers' hands," LaVine said. "I have to do a better job of commanding the ball, getting in pick-and-roll. Lauri had it going, put Lauri in the pick-and-roll. Spread them out. We’re playing up and down. I think we got a little bit too happy because that was our first time really getting into the game and playing like that. That’s how we want to play. At that time of the game, we can’t do that. We have to settle down. It really hurt us. We let them back into the game."

The Bulls slowed the bleeding by getting Markkanen to the line. He attempted six of his 10 free throws in the final 2 minutes, making five. But Dwayne Bacon sank the Hornets' franchise-record 23rd 3-pointer with 71 seconds remaining, which pushed their lead to four.

And then came the most curious decision of all. After Graham sank two free throws with 11.3 seconds left for a three-point lead, LaVine, with the Bulls out of timeouts, drove for a layup with 4.5 seconds left.

"I knew we were down by three. I was looking for the 3-pointer. That’s what I always look for," LaVine said. "Marvin Williams stepped out and they switched, so I knew there wasn’t that much time left so I had to get something. I knew they weren’t going to foul me at the rim, and if they did it could have been an 'and-1' opportunity. Just trying to get something and then play the foul game."

Instead, the Hornets inbounded the ball to the backcourt and killed the clock. Ballgame.

Boylen confirmed he had called two plays during the previous timeout, giving LaVine the freedom to make the decision on whether to shoot a 3-pointer or attack the rim.

"I mean we had something called, but at that time you’ve got to create," LaVine said. "I tried to go out there and make a play, got what I could. Give us a chance at the end, like I said, to play the foul game, get a steal, something like that. Just something where we’ll give ourselves a chance.’’

 Instead, the Bulls came up short.