Regardless of what happens Thursday against a 76ers team that has lost six straight, the Bulls are guaranteed their second losing month in Tom Thibodeau's tenure.
The 4-8 mark in February has been underscored by the subplot of Derrick Rose's return from knee surgery, a scenario that had gained momentum with each progression until Rose slowed it with public comments that he might miss the season. Add critical comments about Bulls management that Reggie Rose made to ESPNChicago.com, and the possibility for distraction is large.
Unless your last name is Thibodeau.
"Every day, you're faced with different things that can distract you if you allow it to," Thibodeau said. "You have to guard against that constantly. Sometimes it's injury. Sometimes it's schedule.
"We knew going in what the circumstances were going to be this year. There was no date where we were saying, 'OK, he's going to be back this date.' It's when he's ready. We can't allow that to be an excuse for us not getting the job done. We're obviously capable of playing better than we have been recently."
Tuesday's loss to the Cavaliers dropped the Bulls to 15-14 at the United Center.
"There are going to be lulls you have to work yourself through," Thibodeau said. "We understand that. The only way we're getting out of it is by the work we put into it. You get into something together. You get out of something together. The important thing is that we stick together and keep fighting."
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Bulls glad to see end of tumultuous February
Chicago Tribune | Feb 28