CHICAGO -- D.J. Augustin knows how important Game 2 against the Washington Wizards is for the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. After falling into a 1-0 hole, Augustin is hopeful that his team will be able to turn things around.
"Definitely a must-win," he said after Tuesday's shootaround. "We're not looking forward to D.C. yet so we have to get tonight. We're real hungry. We can't go into D.C. without a win tonight so it's very important for us."
Every game is important to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, but he's not willing to call Game 2 a "must-win."
"It's the next game," Thibodeau said. "You see all different situations. Just focus in on this game, don't get wrapped in the 'what ifs,' just understand what goes into winning. Go out there and do your job."
Augustin struggled with his shot in Game 1, connecting on just 3-of-15 attempts from the floor, but he hit all 10 of his free throws, finishing with 16 points.
Noah backs Boozer: Carlos Boozer has been vocal about his desire to play more in the fourth quarter of games, but Bulls center Joakim Noah appreciates the fact that he hasn't let that desire hurt his play when he has been on the floor.
"'Los' is huge for us," Noah said. "We need everybody. This isn't one of those teams where one or two guys can play well. Everybody has to be on the same page, play well. You got to give Carlos a lot of credit. With everything that's gone on with him, he's dealt with a lot of adversity this year.
"He's been pretty vocal about his situation, but he's been as selfless as they come. Just being ready for these moments -- he could have easily been one of those guys who said 'You know what? I'm not happy.' But he didn't do that so you got to give 'Los' a lot of credit."
Thibs happy for Pop: Thibodeau has repeatedly praised the San Antonio Spurs as being the "gold standard" in the NBA. His respect for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is easy to see, as well. That's one of the reasons why Thibodeau seemed genuinely happy when told Popovich won the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year award Tuesday.
"I'm happy for him," Thibodeau said. "You know how I feel about him. I think he's an all-time great. He's won at such a high level for so long, and he's done it in a first-class manner. He's a great example for all coaches. So I'm very happy for him."