The Chicago Bulls responded to adversity with wins over the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bulls’ recent achievements make them a hard team to figure out. Last Friday, they lost against the struggling Magic at home, with Zach LaVine getting benched late in the game. This week, they beat the two-best teams in the league, the Celtics and Bucks, in impressive fashion.
“It shows we can play against anybody. And we can beat anybody,” LaVine said. “We just have to have the same mindset every game.”
To the surprise of many, the defense has been one of the Bulls’ strengths this season. The team found a comfort zone on that end of the court, unlike late last season. The Bulls rank 10th in defensive rating at 111.1, a significant improvement from 2021-22, as they ranked 22nd at 113.6.
Chicago just had their most complete defensive performance of the season in Milwaukee last night. The Bulls’ mindset centered on physicality and constant movement led to a season-high 12 blocks and nine steals. Offensively, they also stepped up their game, making the extra pass and hitting a season-high 18 three-point shots.
The Bulls looked inward
The Bulls hit rock bottom after losing against the Magic last Friday. They found themselves with a 6-10 record after four straight losses when they decided to look inward and do whatever it took to turn things around.
DeMar DeRozan always maintained that the Bulls’ best basketball was ahead of them, and the last two games proved him right.
“Losing the games we lost, we’ve been holding each other accountable. Everybody has been speaking up in film sessions, practice. We’ve been on each other. We’ve been picking it up. I think we’re showing how bad we want it instead of just talking about it. That’s just a testament to guys wanting to compete,” DeRozan said.
Chicago’s energy level has been noticeably different in the last two games, and they made big plays when it mattered. Win or lose, their attitude changed, but last night they finally got a clutch win after eight attempts.