‘‘There’s no magic to it,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘You have to put the work into winning. If you do that, you can put yourself in position to win. There are five things we always talk about and try to get established in every game: the defense, the rebounding, lower turnovers, inside-out and share the ball.
[If] we do that and everyone does their job, we feel we’re going to have a chance, no matter where we are, no matter who we’re playing against.’’
The interesting part is that there are people on the roster who aren’t Thibodeau’s kind of players. Carlos Boozer and good defense never have met. I’m guessing Thibodeau could do without Nate Robinson’s up-and-down performances.
But he takes what he has and makes everybody better. That’s what the best coaches do. He probably could have taken the Brooklyn Nets and beaten the Bulls in the first round. Guaranteed, he would have banished the Nets’ selfish offensive tendencies and made them take better shots.
We’ve all heard his stock phrases:
Do your job.
We have more than enough to win.
Next man up.
The secret to the Bulls’ success isn’t that he believes these things down to his DNA, though he does; it’s that his players believe them.
It’s the only good explanation for what has happened for the Bulls this season. They should have lost to the more talented Nets. They had no business beating the Heat on Monday without sick Luol Deng and injured Kirk Hinrich.
But they did their jobs and had more than enough to win, thanks to the next man stepping up.