When new Bulls addition Cartier Martin arrived Friday, coach Tom Thibodeau predicted he'd be used only out of necessity until given time to learn the system.
Necessity arrived early. With Jimmy Butler out with a thigh bruise, Martin took the court in the first quarter of Saturday's game against Charlotte and stayed for a while. He ended up playing 26 minutes and seemed pretty comfortable, hitting 4 of 5 shots for 11 points.
Martin was waived earlier this week by Atlanta, before his contract would become guaranteed for the full season. He signed a 10-day contract with the Bulls in time to meet the Bulls in Milwaukee on Friday.
"I had a couple of other options, but this seemed like the best fit for me," Martin said before Saturday's game. "I saw that with Luol (Deng) leaving, it kind of opened up a lot of guard play. I like the Chicago style of playing. I felt like it fit my game a little bit, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me."
Martin pointed out that he's played previously with current Bulls D.J. Augustin (in Charlotte) and Kirk Hinrich (in Washington). The Bulls are his fifth NBA team over the past six seasons.
"I feel like I'm a hard-nosed guy," Martin said. "Good defender. Go out and do whatever's asked of me. Good shooter. Bigger guard, so I can crash the boards. I'm just a play-hard type of guy. Hustle, get all the loose balls, trash guy.
"I know coach Thibs is very tough on guys. These guys are a very good defensive team. I feel like it's a great fit for me."
Learning the talk from Thibs:
First-year Charlotte coach Steve Clifford has often credited Tom Thibodeau for teaching him the ropes as an NBA assistant. Clifford's first NBA job was advance scout for the Knicks in 2000, then became an assistant coach the following year under Jeff Van Gundy.
One of the most important lessons taught by Thibodeau, according to Clifford, was how to speak to an NBA player.
"He always told me don't get into a conversation with an NBA player about a performance or an individual game, unless you've rehearsed what you want to get accomplished in the conversation," Clifford said before Saturday's game. "It's really true, particularly with older guys who are proven, who have played with a lot of different coaches.
"A guy like (Bobcats veteran) Anthony Tolliver has been around. He's played for five or six really good NBA coaches, plus a really good college coach. So if you think you're going to just walk on the floor and start throwing out things to them, if you haven't studied their game and have a clear plan of what you want to get accomplished in your time with them, then you're not going to be effective."
Charlotte coach Steve Clifford on his time working with Tom Thibodeau on the Knicks and Rockets coaching staffs: "We used to prepare for summer league games, I think, as diligently as a lot of guys prepare for regular season games." ... The Bulls' won their eighth straight game at Milwaukee on Friday, the longest streak in franchise history.