Bulls hope to carry over momentum against Bobcats


Nov 18

Winners of four consecutive games for the first time since March of 2012, Chicago will try to make it five in a row when it hosts the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night.

Having Derrick Rose back in the lineup at full strength will certainly help. Rose sat out of practices last week with a sore right hamstring and did not face the Raptors in Toronto on Friday night.

In the last two games, Chicago has shot 18-for-35 (.514) from behind the arc.

In the last two games, Chicago has shot 18-for-35 (.514) from behind the arc.

He returned to post a season-best 20 points, including a career-high tying six three-pointers, in a lopsided win over Indiana on Saturday.

“I didn’t feel it while I was out there, just taking my time and really being patient,” said Rose of his hamstring. “It allowed me to play great.”

Rose participated in the team’s Monday morning shootaround, along with everyone else, said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. As for how Rose was able to get back on track, it’s simple.

“Just work,” he said. “I’m not going to stop working. I’m going to keep shooting the ball and my confidence is going to keep growing. I’m going to have games like that where I shoot great; I’m going to have games where I’m going to miss the majority of my shots. But that’s not going to stop me from taking the shots that I normally take.”

Now, as the Bulls prepare for their last home game before a six-game road trip ensues, they hope to carry over momentum from Saturday’s victory. But going back a few steps to what preceded this recent stretch, Thibodeau refers to a point just before his team’s last defeat as when things started to come together.

“I actually thought it started in the days prior to the first Indiana game [on Nov. 6],” said Thibodeau. “We had a few days of quality practice time and I thought we played well in the game at Indiana. We didn’t finish the game as well as we’d have liked.

“We had a lot of guys out in training camp and I think that really hurt us; an unusual amount of guys out,” added Thibodeau. “I think guys practicing together, putting the work in, preparing themselves well and building chemistry with each other, you only get that from working together. That part has been huge for us.”

Thibodeau continues to push his team towards striving for the ever elusive 48-minutes of perfection. His emphasis on concentration and effort, as well as not taking any plays off, feeds into building the right habits and ultimately more wins.

While lately the offense has caught up with the defense, Thibodeau says the Bulls will push to be better in both areas.

“We want to be well balanced,” said Thibodeau. “Sometimes if your defense is going well, it can get you into the open floor, but of course you have to have the rebounding to go along with it. But I thought sharing the ball and making quick decisions were very good [on Saturday]. We have a long way to go and there’s a lot of room for improvement on both ends.”

After a 1-3 start to the regular season, the Bulls hope the worst is behind them. Rose certainly sees it that way, while admitting he’s enjoying how well the team has looked as of late.

“It feels good,” said Rose. “We were always saying to ourselves that we couldn’t play any worse than how we played in the first few games of the season. When we looked at it, it was actually true. We didn’t have the chemistry and when we were down, we were trying to do things individually and it took away from our game. Now we’re playing with a little bit more poise and patience.”

Audio—Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau meets the media following shootaround (11.18.2013):

Audio—Bulls guard Derrick Rose on moving past a hamstring injury and facing the Bobcats (11.18.2013):

Audio—Bobcats coach Steve Clifford on facing the Bulls and his relationship with Thibodeau (11.18.2013):

What do you think? Leave a comment below: