The competition shifted dramatically Friday night from the defending NBA champion Heat to the Bobcats, currently the league's worst team.
The time zone changed as well, pushing past 3 a.m. Friday when the Bulls arrived in their local hotel rooms to finish their back-to-back.
But one thing from the Bulls' 105-75 blowout victory looked strikingly familiar to veterans from the teams that led the league in regular-season victories the last two seasons.
"Our mindset reminded me how we were the last two years," Taj Gibson said. "Whenever we got a loss, we just bounced back. We played with an edge."
The Bobcats' defense, such as it is, never will be confused with the Heat's. But this team — somehow — does own a New Year's Eve victory over the Bulls at the United Center.
And thus, the Bulls were responding in multiple ways, placing eight scorers in double figures while registering a season-high 37 assists on their 42 field goals. That they committed just six turnovers one night after coughing up a season-high 27 also stood out.
"We had the right mindset," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "The ball movement was very good. The screening and cutting was good. We were disappointed in the way we played (Thursday) night. We felt we beat ourselves. We wanted to correct that. And we responded."
Bulls bash Bobcats 105-75
Chicago Tribune | Feb 23