After having Sunday off, perhaps to think about the loss to the New Orleans Hornets in what should have moved the Bulls to 3-0 on the season, the team gets back to work today at the Berto Center as they prepare to host the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
Orlando, after firing their coach and the infamous Dwight Howard trade saga known as the “Dwightmare” are a surprising 2-0 this season under rookie head coach Jacque Vaughn, a Gregg Popovich disciple.
Chicago and Orlando are very similar teams in that they’re both trying to find their identity after the loss of a franchise player. The only difference is the Bulls situation is a temporary setback while the Magic are expected to struggle for a number of years going forward.
Regardless, the Bulls can ill-afford to drop another game to a team that doesn’t measure up to them both in talent and experience. They also can’t afford another awful showing by their starters.
The trio or Kirk Hinrich, Rip Hamilton and Carlos Boozer contributed nothing in the loss to the Hornets on Saturday night and were benched by Thibs down the stretch as the Bulls tried to battle back into the game.
After thoroughly dismantling the Cavaliers, Saturday night’s loss is all the more disappointing and only highlights the importance of Derrick Rose to the team, and the value of having a superstar in general. Great players make the game easier for their teammates both directly and indirectly.
Without a sure-fire “go-to” guy every night, the Bulls have to show a collective effort from the starting five, down to the last man on the bench. That’s the only way they’re going to see any sort of success this season. Nobody can afford to take a night off.
Losses to bad teams were to be expected this season; it’s just that no one expected it to happen so early.