Thibodeau: Bulls not getting calls Heat get
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO – On March 27, the Chicago Bulls poked, prodded, shoved, irritated, frustrated and defeated the Miami Heat 101-97 at the United Center, ending the Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak.
More than six weeks later, the Heat have become the aggressor, poking, prodding, shoving, irritating, and defeating the Bulls in the second and third games of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
And Chicago hasn’t responded well at all to Miami’s aggression. It was all good when Chicago did it to Miami, and now the Bulls don’t like it one bit.
One game after the Bulls were hit with six technical fouls, and center Joakim Noah and forward Taj Gibson were ejected, they didn’t respond much better in Miami’s 104-94 victory in Game 3 on Friday.
Noah earned a technical foul for shoving Miami’s Chris Andersen with 23.5 seconds left in the first quarter, and backup center Nazr Mohammed was ejected after shoving Heat forward LeBron James with 9:29 left in the second quarter.
An already depleted Bulls roster – no Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich or Luol Deng – became even thinner with Mohammed’s ejection. The Bulls had to play seven players the rest of the game.
“From my angle, I saw a guy basically flop, and … I’m going to leave it at that,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of James’ reaction to Mohammed’s shove.
Mohammed fouled James as James crossed half court on his way toward the basket. James reacted by trying to get Mohammed off him, and James’ aggressive move earned him a technical foul from referee Joey Crawford.
It should have ended right there, but Mohammed, for some reason, decided to shove James, who fell to the court.
It was a poor decision by Mohammed even if the Bulls believe James flopped or embellished. Bulls point guard Nate Robinson called James an actor.
But In today’s NBA, a two-handed shove is going to receive scrutiny, and it resulted in Mohammed’s ejection, which Thibodeau said Mohammed didn’t deserve.
“I didn’t think it warranted an ejection. I understand flagrant foul. I understand that,” Thibodeau said. “But ejection? No. No. No.”
Mohammed admitted he shouldn’t have shoved James but … [For more on Tom Thibodeau suggests Bulls not getting calls Heat get, click here.]