Thibodeau’s explanation is all bull

By Jimmy Johnson

It’s one thing to leave your starters in to close out a game.

But it’s another situation when a team can taste victory, but your starters are still out there.

That was the scene Friday at the United Center in the final minutes between the Chicago Bulls and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Chicago had a double digit lead. Barring some miraculous shooting from beyond the arc, the Bulls had game one of all tied up.

Yet for whatever reason, Derrick Rose was still on the court. The Bulls’s superstar point guard decided to drive and pro-hop his way towards the basket. After catching some air, and then eventually landing, Rose awkwardly came down on his left knee.

Torn ACL. Out for the rest of the playoffs.

Poof went Chicago’s chances of hoisting the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy this season.

What’s even more frustrating than seeing the playoff picture for the Bulls this year shrink is that this could have been avoided.

The Bulls are pegged by many basketball experts as the deepest team in the NBA; we all know the Bench Mob by now.

With Rose’s season riddled with five injuries, one would imagine head coach Tom Thibodeau would only play him when needed.

Instead, with the game all wrapped up, Rose was still playing. Chicago wasn’t running an offense at all; they were running clock.

Couldn’t C.J. Watson handled the responsibilities of a clock-friendly offense?

What about John Lucas III? He was capable enough during the regular season to see minutes, so why not throw him in there with little time left?

Thibodeau didn’t provide a reason why Rose was still in. Well, he did, but boy, it was lousy.

“I don’t work backward like you guys do,” Thibodeau said. “The score was going the other way.”

Again, the Bulls had a 12 point lead with 1:20 left against the worst offensive team in the playoffs. Let me remind you Chicago’s defense is their strongest asset as a team, but, hey, according to Thibs, Lou Williams, Jodie Meeks and Jrue Holiday were about to go all NBA Jam On Fire style on the Bulls’s fanny.

Thibodeau is a great X’s and O’s coach, but this time, he couldn’t draw up an excuse to mask his snafu.