It's amazing what a win, or three, will do to help out an organization. Heading into their roadtrip, the Bulls were plagued by a general blase that was made worse by comments from Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf. They had lost five in a row, three of those losses coming at home. But something has lit a fire under the collective bottoms of the Bulls, and they have responded to Reinsdorf's criticism by peeling off three straight wins in four days, over the Clippers, Kings and Suns.
On Saturday in Phoenix, the offense came alive and finally played as they were capable of doing. Seven players scored in the double digits, led by Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose, who each scored 26. They also finally figured out that rebounding is an important part of winning, outboarding the Suns 42-35, even though they didn't have Drew Gooden. They played just as well against the Kings, shooting 55 percent from the field. The players have noticed a difference in the way they're playing.
This is not to say that the Bulls are now a perfect team. They are still atrocious on offensive rebounding, need to learn to share the ball more as well as figure out what to do to make the best use of Rose and Gordon, but they're now on a good path. The bad effects of a five-game losing streak have lifted.
Perhaps Reinsdorf knew exactly what he was doing when he made his comments about Del Negro and Co. The man didn't get to be the owner of the Bulls and White Sox without having an idea or two on how to motivate people. He is scheduled to have a meeting with Del Negro this week, but at that meeting, they'll probably just have a few evil laughs, and toast over how their plan has worked. Mwah-ha-ha!