He blasted the NBA's protocols for determining when a player can return from a concussion before this game, saying, "Now, they treat everybody like they have white gloves and pink drawers and it's getting old. It's just the way the league is now."
He had to like the way his team stepped up even though Davis was out.
"You see how guys came in with high motors, understood that this is their time to get their minutes," Chicago's Taj Gibson said. "This league is all about guys stepping up. You saw Robin Lopez and Ryan Anderson, guys coming in with a high motor, gaining confidence early and playing well."
The Bulls also saw some missed opportunities, particularly near the rim. When they drove, Thibodeau said he saw "a lot of flipping instead of attacking," but it wasn't just that. He saw players not hustling back on defense after a miss, and that really bothered him.
"The thing that bothered me was our approach to defensive transition," he said. "When you're not shooting well, you can't allow that to sap your energy in terms of getting back, setting your defense."
Notes: When he was an assistant in Boston, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau could tell big things were in store for Doc Rivers' son Austin. "In Boston, he was around a lot," Thibodeau said. "He had a lot of confidence and poise, very comfortable being on the floor playing against pros even when he was in high school. He's been around the pro game his whole life. I think he's going to be a terrific player." Rivers believed Thibodeau would be a successful head coach, and in his first two years, the Bulls captured the top seed in the Eastern Conference. "It's funny, before he became a head coach, my dad was always talking like he's gonna be a great coach. It was almost like my dad and him coached. It wasn't just my dad. Coach Tom was.you look at their (Boston) defense and how it went up once he got there, and look what he's done with Chicago. I know he's gonna have a tough defensive scheme for me and everyone else tonight." ... The Hornets had dropped eight straight to Chicago.