If anything, one could never accuse Tom Thibodeau of being overly sentimental. When asked about the Bulls thrilling home win over the rival Heat, the teams head coach dismissed Wednesdays victory.
Thats gone, he said, following the teams Friday-morning shootaround at the Berto Center. Weve got to get ready for Portland.
You learn from every game, but that game is gone. Theres some things that we did well, some things that we can obviously do better, so you want to analyze the game, make your corrections, move forward and we have to be prepared for this game, he continued. Thats the challenge, to be looking at what youre facing that particular night. We have to make sure our focus is in the right area.
The Trail Blazers team that visits the United Center will be a shell of its former self, having fired head coach Nate McMillan and traded veteran mainstays Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby at Thursdays NBA trade deadline.
They made the trade and theyll have different guys playing, and the guys they have, theyre tough, said Thibodeau, who will be reunited with the leagues oldest player, Kurt Thomas, the former Bulls big man. Its a team thats beaten Oklahoma City on the road. Theyve had some great wins. Theyve shown their capable of playing very well.
Very unfortunate. I thought he did an unbelievable job up there. Great guy, great coach and its one of the bad parts of the profession, he continued, when asked about McMillans dismissal. Ive watched him over the years. Hes a terrific coach.
Thibodeaus own squad will be short-handed Friday evening, as Derrick Rose is a game-time decision after missing Wednesdays win, C.J. Watson has the same status after returning to the lineup for the Heat game and Rip Hamilton remains out, though Luol Deng participated in Fridays shootaround and will play against Portland.
Rips out, Derrick is game-time, C.J.s game-time, said Thibodeau. Lus good, hes going.
Theyre getting better. Rips moving along. Hes doing more activity now. Hes running, hes gone on to the next phase, so thats encouraging, he continued. But again, were focusing in on the guys that are here and are playing right now, and were fortunate to have a deep team.