PHILADELPHIA -- Doug Collins sees what Tom Thibodeau has built over the past year and a half and he likes it. The veteran Philadelphia 76ers coach loves the way his former team plays and heaped praise on Thibodeau and his Chicago Bulls players after Sunday morning's shootaround.
"This is a very proud team," Collins said. "They defend very, very well. Tommy Thibodeau's done a wonderful job with that team. Their defense is terrific. They rebound the ball. They shoot the three well. They have all the elements of a championship team."
As usual, Collins had plenty of other interesting things to say regarding Sunday night's matchup and the Bulls:
On the rematch with the Bulls: "They've got a team that has a chance to win it all. So this is a game, from our standpoint, that we know we have to do a lot of things right to win. The Bulls are going to be ready. We've had a couple good games against them. So I'm sure they're going to be ready. Plus, also too, they're playing for that homecourt advantage. Them and Miami right now, I'm sure are watching each other. And I'm sure the Bulls would like to get the best record. They're a great road team; I think they're 16-6 on the road. They're going to have a really good home finish, in terms of games at home. So I'm sure those two teams have an eye on one another."
On Rip Hamilton, a player he coached with the Washington Wizards: "If Rip is healthy, he's got great speed off the ball. He probably uses screens, reads screens, as well as anybody in the NBA. He actually, you can post him up a little bit. The Bulls are actually posting him if you get him in a matchup ... But where Rip has really improved I think, through his championship days there in Detroit, is when he comes off those screens, he's become a much better passer. If that big guy helps up, he does a much better job of finding that big guy rolling to the basket. He's very, very good in the open court. Good defender. He has a very good all around game. And just his maturity as a veteran, he's been there. I think the Pistons went to six straight conference finals and were in the NBA finals twice and won it once. So he brings a very experienced guy, who under pressure is a really, really good player. He won a national championship, he's won an NBA championship, so Rip is a champion."
On Derrick Rose: "When you play with a guy like Derrick Rose, he elevates your offensive rebounding because he's on top of the rim all the time and your bigs are helping. So that's why Joakim and [Carlos Boozer] and [Taj] Gibson and [Omer] Asik are on top of the basket rebounding. And then he's going to get you open shots because he penetrates, he draws people and he's going to kick that ball and he's very, very unselfish so you want to be able to surround him with shooters."
Speaking of Rose, there's little question he's locked in for Sunday night's game. He admitted that he struggling while watching tape of the game last month in which Sixers crushed the Bulls.
He knows what his team has to do this time around in order to pick up a win.
"Play a lot tougher," he said. "I think they beat us up pretty good last time we played them here. We just got to make the adjustment where we know this is going to be a hard-fought game and come out prepared."
So what stood out to Rose the most as he watched the tape?
"Our effort," he said. "They were beating us to every loose ball. Our rebounders. Transition, we couldn't stop them in transition, just getting back. It was hard to look at that tape."
The last word:
"It's very easy to play on a team like this. We don't care about who shoots the ball. In certain possessions, I want the ball towards the end, but other than that, we don't care. We pass the ball to anyone. Anyone has the green light if it's a good shot. And that's the way it should be on this team." -- Rose, on the unselfishness of the Bulls