The Bulls might be off the schneid with last night’s 97-93 victory over Detroit, but I have a sneaking suspicion the rhetorical pissing match between the Daily Southtown’s Phil Avria and Chicago coach Scott Skiles is just getting started.

This team thinks too much. And it may be nearly as prone to misinterpretation as the breathless media members who failed to detect the fairly obvious levity in Scott Skiles’ words Wednesday, when told of Joakim Noah’s impression of the Bulls’ body of work to that point.

“I think everyone is, like, in their own world a little bit,” Noah (above) said Tuesday, after his season debut.

“If I had just played my first game as a pro, I’d probably have kept my mouth shut, to be honest with you,” Skiles replied, his tone and expression conveying anything but anger – though the subtlety was lost on most coverage of the tempest.

“Yeah, I didn’t understand that,” Skiles said Thursday. “That’s the kind of thing that makes someone like me not really like most of you, to be honest with you. … I said it in a very light-hearted manner, just taking a little jab at the rookie, so now I had to call Joakim this morning. I wanted to make it really clear with him that I want him to say whatever he wants to say. I love his personality and I really, for one of the first times since I’ve been here, felt like I was treated unfairly, to be honest with you.”

“We had a couple things creep up from a distraction standpoint that have definitely had an effect,” Skiles said, clearly referencing contracts unsigned and Kobes unacquired. “We just need to get over it.”

They did, and it’s a good thing. Because, within Skiles’ comments on his good-hearted players was room to suggest he’d found a nice way to say they’re mentally soft.

And, for the record, he didn’t appear to say it in a light-hearted manner.