Someday as a tribute to Tom Thibodeau's coaching career, the first half video from Friday's game in Toronto should run on a continuous loop in public.
People could stop and watch, then groan, grimace and comment, "Boy, that was really, really ugly."
Contact information ( * required )
That was the plan Friday. While Derrick Rose played it safe with his sore hamstring, the Bulls mustered an impressive defensive effort and collected their first road win of the season, beating the Raptors 96-80 at the Air Canada Centre.
"With Derrick out, we know we have to play a certain way, and we need everybody," Thibodeau told reporters after the game.
This was like the old days -- well, the past two seasons, anyway -- when the Bulls pulled together a winning defensive game plan without Rose.
Toronto shot 25.6 percent and scored 31 points in the first half. The Raptors fared slightly better in the second half, but the Bulls built a big lead by relentlessly preventing good looks at the basket.
Rose injured his right hamstring late in Monday's win over Cleveland and did not practice the past two days. He talked about feeling good enough to play Thursday, but it's no surprise the Bulls decided to play it safe and keep Rose on the bench against Toronto.
"Just being smart about the situation," Rose told reporters before the game. "(I'm) being smart about my body, listening to my body, and it was just tight. The tightness didn't loosen up."
The Bulls will face undefeated Indiana on Saturday at the United Center. Rose said there's a possibility he could play against the Pacers, but only if his hamstring loosens up.
"I hate to speculate because we don't know," Thibodeau said before the contest.
All five starters reached double figures against the Raptors, led by Luol Deng with 19 points and 9 rebounds, while Joakim Noah added 18 points and 9 rebounds.
Kirk Hinrich, starting in place of Rose, finished with 12 points and 4 assists in 40 minutes. When Hinrich got a rest, Thibodeau used second-year guard Marquis Teague, not veteran Mike James.
"Kirk's a great player, man," teammate Carlos Boozer said. "He's underrated. He does a great job running our team, gets us in our sets. He hit some big shots in the third and fourth quarter for us, too."
Toronto's DeMar DeRozan matched a career-high with 37 points, but most of those came after the Bulls built a 25-point lead.
The Bulls were 0-3 on the road before this one, losing to Miami, Philadelphia and Indiana. Saturday's rematch with the Pacers could be interesting, since Indiana improved to 9-0 on the season by beating Milwaukee on Friday.
"We can't feel too good about ourselves, we know how good Indiana is," Thibodeau said. "We're going to have to play tough tomorrow night."