The Bulls have made almost a specialty this year out of falling way behind early in games -- particularly on the road -- and then roaring back to win. That didn't work out so well on Wednesday night in Charlotte and Carlos Boozer told the Sun-Times that they have to get out of this pattern:
"I don’t know, but we have to change it — we’ve gotta change it now," he said. "We gave up 36 points in the first quarter. Lately we’ve been giving up too many points early in games. We’re trying to clean it up in the second half of games, but we can’t continue that pattern. We have to play better at the start."
It would help to have Joakim Noah back to bolster the defense, but that's not going to happen for several more weeks. As the Sun-Times article says, it's probably time to get Keith Bogans out of the starting lineup. Beyond that, the Bulls can't look past tonight's game anticipating the matchup with the Miami Heat Saturday night at the United Center. In the 10 games of their 11-game stretch between the Knicks game on Christmas Day and Saturday's meeting with Miami, the Bulls are 7-3. They should have done better, although the win against the Celtics was an unexpected bonus.
They need this win tonight to keep pace with the other leaders in the Eastern Conference.
Tonight's game begins at 6 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago.