The Bulls have just completed a reasonably successful 3-2 road trip -- which could have been worse, or better; the two games lost on the West Coast could have been wins, but they also could have turned into a longer losing streak. Thanks primarily to Derrick Rose, who stepped up his defensive game, the Bulls won the final two games on the trip.
Now, coming home for a pair of games before the All-Star break this weekend, the Bulls face the Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats are edging around the bottom of the playoff pack in the Eastern Conference, currently ninth, but they just won their eighth game in their last ten meetings with the Lakers, last night in Charlotte. Don't think the Bulls weren't paying attention:
"Yeah," Thibodeau said with a nervous laugh after Tuesday's morning shootaround. "They played a great game. They executed. They got great shots. They shared the ball. Their defense was fantastic. That's the way they've been playing. They've done a good job. They're playing smart basketball."
The Bobcats are 4-6 in their last ten games, but the Bulls can't be looking ahead to Thursday's meeting with the Spurs. They need to focus on winning tonight.
Tonight's game begins at 7 p.m. CST and will be televised on WCIU -- one of a handful of games not on WGN or CSN.