Bulls Quietly Improving as Trade Rumors Swirl

Team notches come-from-behind win over Detroit

Yesterday, we wrote that the Bulls' 2008-09 season had become intertwined with the fate of Amare Stoudemire. Trade rumors have that potential to grip a fanbase, and let''s be honest. The Bulls aren't going to win a title this year. If they make the playoffs, they'll likely lose in the first round. This season is less about this season than it is about those set to succeed it.

Still, the fact that the Amare rumors have taken over this week shouldn't obscure the fact that the Bulls, perhaps despite themselves, have started to play some pretty decent basketball. We know, right? Exciting.

First, Vinny Del Negro's squad managed a 4-3 record on a seven-game road trip. Last night, they came back from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to steal a win from the Pistons. The young frontcourt -- the pieces the Suns are most interested in acquiring in a trade for Stoudemire, wink wink -- had perhaps its best game of the season: Tyrus Thomas notched a 22-and-10 double-double, and Joakim Noah grabbed 16 rebounds.

One win doesn't obscure the Bulls' problems this season. It doesn't change the franchise's long-term strategy. It doesn't make Thomas and whatever other players John Paxson is considering trading worth keeping around. (They made that mistake with Luol Deng already.) But it does warrant some small measure of praise. The axe could fall on the Bulls as we know them at any second, and they're finally playing like it.

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