The Bulls will have a partner in frustration on Thursday. Philadelphia visits the United Center on the heels of a home loss to struggling Orlando and a postgame critique by coach Doug Collins.
The Sixers made a bold move in the summer, acquiring former Lakers center Andrew Bynum and sending away Andre Iguodala. It hasn’t worked out so far, since Bynum hasn’t played because of bad knees.
Philadelphia has dropped six in a row and Collins was especially perplexed by Tuesday’s result. The Magic had lost 17 of its previous 18 games, though the Bulls can relate, having allowed Charlotte to snap an 18-game skid at the UC on Dec. 31.
After the game, Collins offered an extended monologue on the lack of effort shown by his players. During the third quarter, he removed four starters — everyone but forward Thaddeus Young — at the same time.
“I am a day’s pay for a day’s work kind of guy,” Collins said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Three of the guys weren’t even sweating when we started the game. They were going to just ease into the game.
“I gave my body for this franchise. I was never booed as a player. I ran through my sneakers. It’s like (1972 Olympic coach) Hank Iba said, ‘If you don’t want to play, son, your substitute does.’”
So Thursday’s matchup will feature two teams looking to bounce back. The Bulls suffered a frustrating loss themselves Tuesday against Cleveland.
“Doug is a great coach and I know how much he’s invested in his team,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We’re all human, so frustration can creep in, but he’s done a great job since he’s been there. He’s done a great job coaching throughout his career, so I have a lot of respect for him.”
Hinrich’s elbow survives:
Kirk Hinrich was able to participate in Wednesday’s practice. He missed 10 of the previous 11 games with a sore right elbow, but played 33 minutes against the Cavaliers on Tuesday.
Hinirch finished with 11 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, an impressive block of a fastbreak lay in attempt by C.J. Miles and even hit 3 of 5 attempts from 3-point range. He also hit the floor at least five times.
“(Assistant coach) Ed Pinckney was yelling at me from the bench about that,” Hinrich said with a laugh. “I told him it was the only way I knew how.
“(The elbow) is just sore. I hit it a few times; it’s throbbing a little bit, but it’s intact so it’s good.”
Coach Tom Thibodeau said doctors found no further damage to Taj Gibson’s sprained left knee. He’s expected to miss two weeks.
Deng sees a way out:
After Tuesday’s loss to Cleveland, Luol Deng talked about staying positive, even as the Bulls lose games and lose more players to injuries.
“It’s always tough to lose guys, but that’s not an excuse,” he said. “Loose balls, stuff like that, those are the things you can control. You miss shots, you miss shots, but you shouldn’t be out-hustled. We’re fine. I don’t think it’s time to press, but we’ve got to get it together and everyone just do a little more.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.