Bulls choose not to dwell on debacle in Denver
BY NEIL HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org February 8, 2013 10:30PM
Paul Millsap, Taj Gibson
Updated: March 10, 2013 6:50AM
SALT LAKE CITY — At an afternoon film session Friday, Tom Thibodeau chose to look ahead to the Bulls’ game against the Utah Jazz instead of back at his worst loss as a head coach.
The Bulls’ 128-96 loss to the streaking Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night was the worst of Thibodeau’s tenure — the most points scored against the Bulls since Thibodeau was named coach before the 2010-11 season and the largest margin of defeat in that span.
‘‘Sometimes you take a punch and you’ve got to be ready to get up and deliver another one,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘I want them to put that one behind and be ready for [the Jazz on Friday night].’’
The Nuggets led 63-58 at the half Thursday before outscoring the Bulls 37-16 in the third quarter to blow the game open.
‘‘It’s embarrassing the way we played,’’ center Joakim Noah said. “We just have to come back.’’
Noah wasn’t his old self against the Nuggets after missing three games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He had two points and five rebounds in 23 minutes. The usually sure-handed center also had three of the Bulls’ 14 turnovers.
But he showed no ill effects Friday and appears ready to return to his regular role.
‘‘A lot of his game is finesse and timing,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘It will come back. I thought he moved fairly well, but he has to get out there and play. He’s missed a lot of time.’’
Marco Belinelli did not play against the Nuggets on Thursday night because of an ankle injury but felt better Friday, warmed up before the game and was determined to give it a try.
He injured his ankle in Monday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Rookie Marquis Teague played more than 22 minutes against the Nuggets, much of it in slop time. He made 5 of 8 shots for 10 points to go with four rebounds, three assists and four turnovers.
‘‘Some good, some bad,’’ Thibodeau said when asked to evaluate Teague. ‘‘He has just got to keep concentrating on his improvement. The biggest step your first year is learning how to be a pro. He’s still learning. He’s got a long way to go.’’