One thing is for sure: Altitude doesn't affect Tom Thibodeau's no-excuse policy.
The Bulls changed their travel itinerary to practice in this mile-high city Wednesday afternoon, a nod to the acclimation process that some suggest aids the Nuggets' annual prowess on their homecourt.
That the Bulls did so with an almost full complement of players aids their chances to mar an impressive stretch for the Nuggets, who have won six straight home games, 11 of 12 and, at 21-3, are just one game behind the Spurs for the league's best home mark.
Not that Thibodeau would say otherwise even if Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer didn't practice and weren't expected to play Thursday because of their nagging injuries. Marco Belinelli, who didn't do much at practice, is the most questionable of those three with his sore right ankle.
"Whether it's back-to-back, late start, early start, four-in-five, three-in-four, shorthanded, whatever, it's the next thing in front of us," Thibodeau said, dismissing a question about altitude. "That's the challenge of the NBA. You're always faced with something. Whatever it is, you have to be ready to handle it. If you play well, you have a chance to win."
Returning Noah to the lineup would help, particularly since the Nuggets are tied with the Pacers for the league lead in rebounding. Noah has missed three games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot but practiced Wednesday.
"We'll see how my foot reacts," Noah said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to go (Thursday). It feels better every day. I think it's something I'll have to deal with for a little while. But I feel pretty good."
Thibodeau won't use altitude, injuries as excuses
Chicago Tribune | Feb 7