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Thibodeau using some swear and tear to get Bulls motivated

Coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t deviate much in his message to his players.

It’s just that they’ve been getting the R-rated version this week.

And it’s about time.

Forward Taj Gibson admitted that the Bulls haven’t played home games with a sense of urgency. Even after a 25-point victory Wednesday over the Brooklyn Nets, the Bulls are only 3-5 at the United Center.

There have been injuries and minutes restrictions, but the poor record is mostly attributable to a lack of effort.

So a quarter of the way into the season, Thibodeau knew it was time to turn up the heat.

“[The rookies are] kind of scared at times, but if you can handle this, you can handle this anywhere,’’ Gibson said. “[Thibodeau is] on your case for a reason. He only wants to get you better. He’s on you every day. He yells at everybody, every day, from top to bottom. Derrick [Rose], everybody.

“Even the guys that are on the bench. He’s yelling, not sugarcoating anything. He just wants you to get better. You see how everybody has been rewarded over the years.’’

Gibson has a point.

Joakim Noah was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, Rose was the MVP in 2011 and Gibson was a finalist for Sixth Man of the Year last season. Throw in two No. 1 seeds in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and there have been obvious benefits.

But a championship still is missing.

That’s why Thibodeau raised the stakes this week.

“No, we’ve got a long way to go,’’ Thibodeau said. “And we’ve gotta keep driving every day, every day. That’s the only way it works.’’

Asked if he thought his players had a full understanding of that yet, Thibodeau said, “We’ve got a new group, so we’ve got to get there. And we’ve got to get there as a group. This is not an individual sport. You’ve got to get there as a group. We’re still a work in progress, like I said. One game, one day, it’s good, but we’ve got to keep building. You’ve got to keep building on your foundation.’’

Under Thibodeau, that foundation starts with defense.

Between the swear words this week, Thibodeau reiterated that point.

“Like Thibs says, ‘It’s in your hands, what kind of season you want to have. You’ve got to put the work in,’ ’’ Gibson said. “And we’ve put the work in.

‘‘I honestly say that we really went hard [this week], and Thibs has really been a drill sergeant, really been on our case every day. He’s calling guys names, really digging into us every time we’ve practiced. It was frustrating, but we need things like that.’’

Noah (knee, ankle), Doug McDermott (right knee) and Pau Gasol (shoulder) were held out of a light practice Thursday.

Tony Snell was out for personal reasons, so it was a lot of film, some walk-through material for the Portland Trail Blazers and some shooting.

But no one was complaining about Thibodeau’s boot-camp mentality this week.

“[Thibodeau is] very methodical, very disciplined,’’ Gasol said. “He’s always on edge, and he keeps the team on edge.

“Yeah, [this week] was necessary. It was helpful and beneficial to have a day off first and then have a couple of hard practices to kind of get back on track, make sure we tighten up defensively. It translated well [against the Nets].’’

Thibodeau’s hope is that it has much more staying power.