Despite standing well outside the playoff picture with a 7-10 record heading to a brutal six-game road trip, the Chicago Bulls aren't hanging their heads. Following a morale-boosting win over an Eastern Conference powerhouse in the Boston Celtics, the Bulls are hopeful they can turn things around this season.
Embracing the struggle
Last season, Chicago raced out of the gates and competed for the top spot for a good portion of the season. That hasn't been the case this season, as the Bulls have struggled to find their form. They got a reprieve on Monday when they defeated the Celtics, 121-107, to snap a four-game slump. However, the Bulls need more of the same effort to rise the Eastern Conference's standings.
"I'd rather be going through our struggles now, because games like this, we realize we can compete with anybody. I really believe once we catch that rhythm, that confidence of playing at a high level, it's going to be consistent," said DeMar DeRozan.
Despite the recent losing spell, the Bulls are not far from the league leaders. They stand six games behind the Celtics, which own a 13-4 record. Do great in their next string of games, and Chicago can take a bite out of that deficit.
"Nobody's pulled away from nowhere. We still got the opportunity to pull together a great run," There's still time. It's not even December yet. There's a lot more basketball to play and a lot more things to figure out. And I got the utmost confidence in this group of guys," DeRozan added.
Success against the top teams
It may be surprising, but the Bulls have done well against some of the league's top teams this season. Chicago owns two victories over Boston this season. This season, they've also taken down the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets. Those performances were a far cry from last season when they lost 13 of 14 games against the league's best.
"One of the things we talked about before the season started was, against those top four teams in the East and the West, we didn't play particularly well last season," Bulls head coach Billy Donovan said.
A win against a legitimate contender gave the Bulls some air. However, can they carry this momentum, or will they return to their old ways? Nothing is certain, but the Bulls are hopeful things can turn around.