Tom Thibodeau Insists Bulls Haven’t Run Out of Steam

by May 14, 2013

This rag-tag group of Chicago Bulls has pushed further in these NBA Playoffs than anyone had anticipated. Down 3-1 to the defending champion Miami Heat, it’s clear that their magical run will very soon come to an end. No matter what Tom Thibodeau and Nate Robinson continue to tell the public (and themselves.) Per the AP: “At various times in the final quarter, Chicago had Nazr Mohammed, Daequan Cook, Malcolm Thomas, Marquis Teague and 35-year-old Rip Hamilton on the floor. What’s scary isn’t that some NBA fans had no idea that any or all of that group was in the league; rather, it’s that many of those same fans wouldn’t recognize the guys they were supposed to be spelling. The Bulls wound up shooting 26 percent and totaled just 65 points by the end of Game 4, another team record for futility. Yet they probably had no business getting that many, let alone this far in the playoffs. ‘We’re kind of putting screws and bandages everywhere,’ said forward Taj Gibson, another backup pressed into regular service. ‘It’s frustrating. Every night and every day. It’s rough. It’s really rough,’ he added a moment later. ‘I wish I could explain how I’m feeling right now. How everybody in this locker room is feeling now.’ Actually, there’s no need for a lengthy explanation when a glance will do. Gibson had icepacks covering both knees as he talked. Across the room, Joakim Noah had his right foot (plantar fasciitis) submerged in a bucket of ice. Next to him, Nate Robinson had an icepack covering his left shoulder. The players who hadn’t left in a hurry to lick their wounds at home were still lined up in the trainer’s room, awaiting their turns. […] Afterward, Thibodeau was asked whether the Bulls’ performance was proof they’d simply ‘run out of steam.’ ‘No,’ he replied. ‘I think the thing is they’re (Heat) a great team. We have to come out with great intensity – but we also have to make shots.’ […] ‘There’s a lot left in the tank,’ Nate Robinson said bravely. ‘Down 3-1, you never know. Take it to Game 7 and we end up winning, it’s going to be a beautiful story to tell my kids one day.'”