“I don’t even think about that stuff,” Del Negro said when asked if he thought he had coached his final game. “I enjoy the experience, I enjoy the competitiveness. It’s about the players to me. I’m proud of the guys, I’m proud of the way they stuck together. They played hard and played through adversity.
“I can’t worry about that. I don’t worry about it. I know how hard my staff has worked and what we’ve done here the last two years. How anyone wants to judge that will judge it and we’ll move on. I’ve been too fortunate in my career and my life to worry about those things. Those decisions will be made now moving forward.”
Rose said he would hate to see his coach fired.
“We both came in as rookies. It would be devastating,” Rose said. “But it’s not up to me, it’s up to the front office. They’re the ones that drafted me, so I guess I’m behind them.”
Rose said it would be hard to imagine the Bulls firing their coach after making the playoffs.
Cleveland’s plan in the fourth quarter was to force the ball inside to O’Neal and let the Big Diesel power his way to the basket.
O’Neal drew two fouls in a five-second span on Chicago’s Brad Miller, who was doing all he could to keep the 325-pounder out of the lane. Del Negro and the Bulls assistants protested the second foul and Miller had to be grabbed by his teammates before he got called for a technical.
One minute later, O’Neal got Noah to reach in and commit his fourth foul. The Cavs immediately went into O’Neal again, and this time he spun on Noah and dunked on the Bulls’ outspoken center, sending the nervous, sellout crowd into a momentary frenzy.
PBT: San Antonio executed its game plan well in Game 1, shutting down Grizzlies star Zach Randolph.
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