FROM GRIM JIM TO GRIN, WIN Happy to fi­nally be rid of But­ler, Thibs’ Wolves get easy ‘W’ vs. Bulls

Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday) - - SPORTS - JOE COW­LEY jcow­[email protected]­times.com | @sun­times_hoops

MIN­NE­AP­O­LIS — Things have changed around Tim­ber­wolves coach Tom Thi­bodeau.

Play­ers have changed, staffs have changed, heck, even the game has changed since Thi­bodeau barked out, “Ice ... Ice!’’ while pa­trolling the bench at the United Cen­ter for years.

But has Thi­bodeau changed? He still growls out an­swers at me­dia ses­sions, still coaches each game as though his life de­pends on it. Same old Thibs.

When asked about the “noise’’ that has dis­tracted his team since the start of train­ing camp be­cause of the Jimmy But­ler or­deal, with a wry smile on his face, he an­swered, “What noise?’’

“That’s the NBA,’’ Thi­bodeau said. “You can’t get dis­tracted. You see it all the time. Ev­ery team goes through some­thing at a dif­fer­ent time. Keep march­ing for­ward. That’s what you have to do. In this league, you can find an ex­cuse ev­ery night if you choose to do so. Just be men­tally tough through ad­ver­sity. Every­body has it. Deal with it. Move for­ward.’’

Thi­bodeau and his Tim­ber­wolves have done that since trad­ing But­ler to the 76ers. They im­proved to 5-2 with their new-look ros­ter af­ter beat­ing the Bulls 111-96 at the Tar­get Cen­ter on Satur­day.

“I think the ball move­ment, ev­ery­one be­ing on the same page and the new pieces that we have, like they’re for the team,’’ T-wolves guard Der­rick Rose said. “They’re pro­fes­sional, great dudes, and that’s what we needed.’’

Thanks to But­ler, the Tim­ber­wolves had been in the news for all

JIM MONE/AP

Bulls for­ward Jabari Parker, who had 27 points, drives around Tim­ber­wolves for­ward Dario Saric in the sec­ond half Satur­day night at the Tar­get Cen­ter.

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