Tom Thibodeau won’t play the “what if?” game.
The man who could patent the phrase “we have more than enough to win” doesn’t spend time looking at the Bulls-Heat games his team didn’t play at full strength.
Perhaps that’s why, despite playing without Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, the Bulls improved to 6-1 against the Heat at the United Center since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach.
And while regular-season victories matter little compared to the back-to-back championships the Heat possess, Thursday night’s 107-87 triumph could do wonders to stop the bleeding of a team that had strayed from Thibodeau’s tenets in losing six of the previous seven.
The Bulls, who led by as many as 25 points, dominated the Heat’s small-ball approach with rebounding, defense and physical play. They enjoyed advantages of 49-27 in rebounding and 24-6 in second-chance points.