The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponant believe that you might block every shot. ~Bill Russell
How bout them Bulls! Them eight in a row Bulls. Goodness gracious great basketballs of fire! How do they do it? I’ll tell you how they do it. They do it by playing defense. They do it by playing rough defense. They do it by playing tough defense. None of that Marshmallow Fluff defense. Tom Thibodeau came to Chicago and said what Norman Dale said. Tom Thibodeau came to Chicago and said, “I’ve seen you guys can shoot but there’s more to the game than shooting. There’s fundamentals and defense.” And that’s what he’s professed ever since. Don’t believe me? Just ask Derrick Rose: “That’s what we’ve been doing the whole year, playing defense. If our offense isn’t going, and that rarely happens, we rely on our defense.”
Last night, when the game got tight in the fourth quarter and Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls turned up their defensive pressure, the streaking New Jersey Nets just couldn’t keep up. How could they? Last night, the Chicago Bulls came into New jersey with the NBA’s second-best defense. Second best you say? Who cares you say? I say with the 84-73 defeat of the Nets, Chicago has now allowed 980 points over its last 12 games. I say that’s the fewest it has ever allowed over any 12-game span in franchise history. Ever. In franchise history. I also say, prior to the last 12 games, the fewest points the Bulls allowed over a 12-game span was 1,012 in February 1999. The Bulls just smashed that mark. Like Sonny Bono on the Love Boat, they hit it with a hammer and crashed it. And just so you know, to further prove my point, wanna know who the last NBA team to allow that few points over a 12-game span was? Huh? Do ya? Sure you do. The last NBA team to allow that few points over a 12-game span was Boston in 2007-08 (979) with Tom Thibodeau on the Celtics’ bench.
That’s right. Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls head coach. Tom Thibodeau, defensive guru. Tom Thibodeau, defensive maharishi. Tom Thibodeau, defensive swami. In his nineteen seasons as an assistant, Thibodeau helped his teams finish in the NBA’s top ten in team defense sixteen times. Yowza! He helped the Rockets rank in the top five in the NBA in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense in all four years he was with the team. In his first year with Houston, the Rockets set franchise records in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. During his tenure with the Knicks, New York set a then-NBA record by holding thirty-three consecutive opponents under 100 points in the 2000-01 season. And you saw what he did with Celtics. Best defense in all of basketball with the Celtics. In all of Tracy McGrady’s years in the NBA, that’s the best defense he’d ever seen. He said so.
The Bulls are now doing what the championship Celtics were doing. They are contesting every shot. They are trapping in the corners. They are crashing the boards. Rebounding, helping, switching, basically everything that you expect your team to do on defense. Crushing opponents on a nightly basis. So you wanna know how the Bulls are doing it? Doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well? They’re doing it with defense. Tom Thibodeau defense.
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!