Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau takes pride on the impact his team usually has on the defensive end of the floor, but Chicago is just ninth in the league there to this point in the season.
That’s not good enough in his eyes, and he certainly isn’t willing to stand by while his players attempt to give what he views to be excuses.
Taj Gibson attempted to attribute the defensive lapses to a lack of trust — a fairly common platitude in NBA circles. But as far as Thibodeau is concerned, that line of thinking is simply unacceptable.
After the morning shootaround, it was Taj Gibson explaining the defensive lapses as, “Just the effort and having trust in one another.’’
It wasn’t the first time “trusting each other’’ was used as an explanation for the defensive problems, with Joakim Noah also insisting that was an issue over the weekend. …
“That’s garbage,’’ Thibodeau said of trust issues. “That’s garbage. Trust is work. That’s how you build trust. You gotta know what you’re doing. You have to be tied together. You have to work at it. It’s a cop-out. …
“That’s [Thibodeau’s] opinion,’’ Gibson said. “That was just me and Jo’s opinion. We’re on the court.
This can happen when players and coaches go back and forth through the media, but the disagreement on the matter could also be due to a simple misinterpretation.
Thibodeau could be viewing “trust” as a deeper team problem than the on-court way that Gibson (and Noah) seem to have been referencing it. On defense, trust means that when a player does what he’s supposed to, it will sometimes lead to his man getting past him by design. The help defense needs to come as schemed, and if it doesn’t, an easy basket will more often than not be the end result.
Either way, Thibodeau is one of the best coaches in the game, and the Bulls have excellent chemistry while being one of the hardest-working squads there is. Expect this very minor issue between coach and player to get cleared up in the very near future.