The Bulls got within four points of the Pacers late in the fourth quarter on Monday night, but a missed call at the end of the game drew the ire of coach Tom Thibodeau.
Tom Thibodeau has become distinct for his cliche-thick pre- and post-game platitudes during his time in Chicago, but a pivotal missed call late in Monday's game vs. the Pacers actually elicited something close to an interesting quote from the Bulls coach. Thibodeau was fuming (not unusual) for most of the game at what he perceived to be shoddy officiating favoring the Pacers, and it reached a boiling point when the refs gave possession back to Indiana after the ball pretty clearly went off Roy Hibbert with Chicago down four and 1:30 remaining. The Bulls lobbied for a review that would never come, and Paul George would drain a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to essentially put the game out of reach.
Thibodeau remained focused on the missed call after the game. From ESPN Chicago:
What angered the Bulls was that the officials did not review the play, which came in the last two minutes of the game.
"(Referee) Mike Callahan went and asked him and he said there was no need," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "It's reviewable under two minutes."
Thibodeau said the under two-minute review policy was up to the officials.
"It's subjective," he said. "If there's any question supposedly you do it."
Thibodeau continued to get about as close to criticizing the officials as we've seen. He seems to have chosen his words pretty carefully here in hopes of avoiding a fine, but his displeasure is clear to see.
"I thought we got a tough whistle and that happens," he said. "We had some calls that we should have had that went against us -- that's part of it. We have to have the mental toughness to get through that. We can't allow that frustration to lead us into not executing or recklessly fouling. To me, those are the things you don't want to do. We'll learn from it and move on."
The Pacers shot 34 free throws to the Bulls' 22 free throw attempts last night. Chicago was whistled for 25 fouls on the night while Indiana was whistled for 19.