DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wants his injury-plagued team to focus on simply playing well together, not snapping another team's streak Thursday when they play the New York Knicks, winners of 13 straight.
"We're not worried about streaks," Thibodeau said after Wednesday's practice. "We're worried about the Knicks. They've had a great season, they've played at a very high level. They spread you out and shoot a lot of threes. They've got a great player in (Carmelo) Anthony that requires your entire team to focus in on but you can't lose sight of all the others that they have that are very talented and they can all play make, put it on the floor, they can shoot. So they're a talented team, a deep team."
The Bulls have already snapped one long winning streak this season, ending the Miami Heat's 27-game run on March 27, but guard Kirk Hinrich just wants them to get back on track after losses to the Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.
"I think the satisfaction would just be to beat the New York Knicks," Hinrich said. "They're a great team. We just want to be playing better basketball."
In order to do that, slowing down Anthony, who is averaging 40.6 points in five April games, will be key.
"A guy like Carmelo, it has to be a team effort (to stop him)," Hinrich said. "He's going to get his. He's going to get his shots, he's going to get his points, you just have to try and do the best job you can on him."
Injury update: The Bulls just did a walk-through on Wednesday and it appears not much has changed on the injury front. Richard Hamilton and Marco Belinelli have responded fine to playing. Taj Gibson is still working his way back from a knee injury and figures to be out a little longer. The same goes for Joakim Noah, who could very likely miss the rest of the regular season because of plantar fasciitis in his foot. Derrick Rose's status remains unchanged.
As for Luol Deng (hip), Thibodeau hopes he will be back on the floor soon, but isn't sure if Deng will make his return Thursday night.
"He feels a little bit better, but we'll see where he is (Thursday)," Thibodeau said. "I don't want to jump the gun on anything. I just want him to be healthy."