Bulls lose their cool, disappoint coach
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — Tom Thibodeau’s Chicago Bulls usually don’t crack.
But several fissures during their embarrassing 115-78 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series led to an uncharacteristic implosion early in the fourth quarter with the game completely in Miami’s favor.
In game that had already had six technical fouls issued by referees trying to keep a physical contest from getting out of control, Bulls center Joakim Noah and forward Taj Gibson were ejected with 10:13 left in the fourth quarter and the Heat up 93-56.
Noah, who had already received a technical earlier in the game, drew his second technical protesting a foul called on Bulls guard Marquis Teague. Two technical fouls equals an automatic ejection. When Noah got ejected, Taj Gibson looked for explanation and received two quick technical fouls on the same deadball.
By the time reporters met with both players, emotions had settled.
“It’s frustrating. I lost my cool,” Gibson said. “It’s playoff basketball. There’s a lot of aggression out there. You’ve got to be there for your teammates. Things weren’t going our way. You’re going to get frustrated, especially when you’re getting blown out. We lost our composure as a team. This hardly happens to me.
“We just have to go out there and play. Unfortunately for us, we ran off the game plan. We got ourselves in a big hole. That was the one thing that was so frustrating.”
Gibson had to be restrained from going after an official after his ejection and was ushered off the court by Bulls support staffers.
Noah even provided a light moment afterward.
“Not being very Zen,” he said.
Noah said he deserved the ejection. “I just wanted to let the referee know how I felt about the game,” he said.
In typical Noah bravado, he already was fired up for Game 3 on Friday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).
“It’s not the end of the world. It’s 1-1. It’s going to be a big Game 3 in Chicago.”
Thibodeau, in the same monotone voice in which he always speaks, said, “We got sidetracked and you can’t do that. We allowed a lot of … [For more on Bulls lose their cool and disappoint their coach, click here.]