The Bulls haven’t lost two games in a row this season. Heck, this streak actually goes into last season. Meanwhile, the Hawks are playing their fifth game in six nights, which includes a quadruple overtime victory.
Tom Thibodeau got all over the Bulls for their lack of effort in their loss Monday night to the Denver Nuggets. The Bulls already have a playoff spot locked up while the Nuggets are currently fighting for the 8th seed spot. It seemed that both teams had different priorities for that game, and Thibs was not pleased with the Bulls half assed effort.
It was the Bulls seventh game in a row without Derrick Rose, and up until that point, the Bulls were playing without him in the lineup fairly well.
‘‘We’ve proven we have more than enough to win [without Rose],’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘We’re confident in the guys that are here. We didn’t play the way we should have. Derrick had nothing to do with that.’’
Joakim Noah has been a non-factor in the past two games. After being ejected Saturday for a pair of quick technical fouls, he only racked up a whopping 2 points and 5 rebounds against a Nuggets team that managed to out-rebound and shoot over 50% from the field against one of the best defensive teams in the league in the Bulls.
The Hawks, however, are in a very similar position as the Nuggets. Currently sitting at #6 in the division, they are only 2 games back from the #4 spot. So with every win, the Hawks could very well move up in seeding. But on the flip side, they are only 5 games ahead of the #8 seed Knicks.
After a tough loss to the Bucks on Tuesday night, the fatigue may be starting to wear on the Hawks. Their slow start to the game, and the abrupt end to the eventual rally late in the game, could all be due to the fact that they had played a quadruple overtime game against the Jazz just 2 nights before.
And now, on the second night of a back to back, the Bulls can come out and get a dominating win over the Hawks.
With no Derrick Rose or Rip Hamilton again, the other 3 starters and the bench mob will all have to use Thibodeau’s rage to fuel their game tonight. We need more production out of Noah and Deng while someone else steps up and has a big game. Who will it be?
The game starts at 6:30 central time on Comcast SportsNet.