"Just the spirit, fight," Thibodeau said, when asked what he liked about that group. "We knew it was going to be a tough game coming in, and that's the way they play, a credit to them. You have to stay disciplined. You can't allow frustration to take you away from what you're trying to get done out there. It's one of those things, you got to keep battling and battling and battling. In the end, whatever's necessary, that's what you have to do to win. You got to get in the fight, it's physical. You can't get thrown around. And when you're getting smacked you've still got to be able to get your job done."
Noah didn't get that chance. After starting 5-for-5 from the field and scoring 10 points in the first quarter, it looked as if he hit a wall, and he did not score a single point after that. Maybe all the minutes he's been playing lately finally caught up to him? Maybe Thibodeau wanted to see more from him? Maybe Noah has a nagging injury the coaching staff doesn't want to divulge? Maybe he was just having a bad night?
Whatever it was, Thibodeau sent a message to his leader and captain -- he needs more, even on nights when Noah doesn't have much more to give.