So there were the Bulls, down big to the Knicks in the 4th quarter… but making a run. The bench had cut a 19 point lead down to 9. At 108-99 with 4:48 left and a crew of Kyle Korver, Taj Gibson, CJ Watson, Ronnie Brewer and Omer Asik on the floor, the Knicks called a timeout.
Enter Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and the rest of the starters.
Kinda reminds you of the game where Thibs took over for an ejected Doc Rivers and didn't make a substitution for the last 19 minutes of the game and played everyone but Glen Davis the entire second half.
At least he had an excuse last night:
"I thought that group was playing pretty well and we had gone with the starters a little longer than usual to start the second half," Thibodeau said in explaining his decision. "The second unit fought hard to close it and I wanted to see what they could get out of it. They were closing a lot harder to the three-point line.
"I thought about it, but I thought the group that was out there was covering the line pretty well."
Risky strategy by Thibs, actually. Seems like he was sending a message all night about the Bulls play on the defensive end. It's one of those strategies that will pay off right away tonight against the C's with a high-energy defensive effort… or backfire with a sulking group of players who will start tuning him out.
We'll see tonight, I guess. One thing is for sure… his starters will be well rested. Unfortunately for us… we might see Derrick Rose do more of this: