The Bulls are in a funk.
Losers of four out of their last seven, along with being outrebounded in seven out of their last nine; the team hasn’t played with its usual edge for the past five games.
If we’re being technical, you can say four and a half, as the intensity of their play first waned in the fourth quarter of their Dec. 21 110-106 win at New York.
That game was followed by two blowout losses, a game being postponed by a snowstorm in Indiana, doing just enough to get past a banged up Wizards squad and ending with the Charlotte Bobcats snapping an 18-game skid at their expense on New Year’s Eve.
“For some reason – and I have to figure this out – I have to have us ready at the start of the game,” coach Tom Thibodeau said after the loss to Charlotte. “We have to have an edge at the start of the game. We can’t ease our way into the game and then say ‘ok, we’re good, we can get it corrected.’ It doesn’t work like that.
“Everyone has a job to do. My job is to make sure they’re ready and then when they’re out there, they have to do their job. We all have to do a lot better. Right now, things aren’t going our way and we have to make things go our way.”
Several players are dealing with minor injuries. Kirk Hinrich sat out against Charlotte with what Thibodeau called ‘a compilation of things.’ But the Bulls have never been ones to make excuses.
“We just have to play through it and get ourselves out of the funk,” Taj Gibson said. “We’re just [in] a little funk right now. It’s up and down in the season and we just have to push ourselves through it.”
Thibodeau is known as one of the best coaches in terms of having his team prepared and ready for each and every opponent, along with a lot of different situations that may present themselves during the game. That only adds to the frustration of the team’s poor play of late.
“It is (frustrating) because I know for sure, individually, every guy wants to play his best game, ever y game,” Nate Robinson said. “But that’s not realistic. For us, as a team, when guys are down, we have to pick them up. Jo was sick today and the energy just wasn’t there. [That] just can’t happen. We just have to bounce back and get ready for our next game.”