View Full Version : New season, same old Bulls

11-12-2003, 10:32 PM
New season, same old Bulls

NANCY ARMOUR, AP Sports Writer Tuesday, November 11, 2003


(11-11) 13:05 PST DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) --

So much for the Chicago Bulls being new and improved.

Eight games into a season that was supposed to finally bring some progress, the Bulls don't seem much different from their sad-sack predecessors. They're losing and tempers are flaring.

And they haven't even left for that killer West Coast road trip yet.

"It's extremely frustrating," Eddy Curry said after the Bulls' 105-97 loss to Denver on Monday night. "Especially losing games we can win. We should win."

"I honestly don't know why we're losing the games we're losing," he added. "We've just got to keep fighting."

They'd prefer that fighting be done on the court, though, not off of it. The drama this week was enough to last them a couple of months.

Jalen Rose and Jamal Crawford were irked when coach Bill Cartwright pulled them out of the starting lineup Saturday at New Orleans. No matter that the Bulls beat the Hornets or that Crawford and Rose had their best games of the season, the two were unhappy with what they saw as a lack of respect.

The team met Monday to clear the air, and everyone was saying all the right things before and after the game with the Nuggets.

"When you're a professional athlete people look at any complaint or any unhappiness as just being a spoiled athlete, and I'm not going to get into that situation," Rose said. "He has the opportunity to play who he wants to play, when he wants to play them. I have to honor that as a player."

But it's obvious there's still some tension.

"I'm just tired of talking about it, because there's nothing new going on," Crawford said. "I'm just going to go out and play. Worry about stuff that I can control, instead of other things that I can't control."

If the Bulls were winning, this would all just be background noise. The championship bunch had so much melodrama it seemed like "Days of Our Bulls" at times, what with players sniping at each other, Dennis Rodman cooking up new and inventive weirdness and the constant animosity with then-general manager Jerry Krause.

But winning has a way of soothing even the worst problems, and that's where these Bulls are falling short. After five long years of growing pains, this was supposed to be the year Chicago got its dignity back. Curry and Tyson Chandler were expected to have breakout years, and a playoff spot didn't seem that farfetched in the weak Eastern Conference.

Instead, the Bulls are 3-5 going into Wednesday night's game at Boston. Their first four losses were by an average of 27 points, including back-to-back 30-point blowouts.

They've only won one game at home, particularly shocking because they were 27-14 in Chicago last year.

"It's frustrating," Crawford said. "It's not what I expected."

The lone bright spot is that the Bulls are 2-1 on the road so far. That's one less road win than they managed all of last season.

"No use messing with it," Cartwright said. "Just go with it, and hope it continues that way."

Part of Chicago's problems stem from injuries. Chandler, who gives the Bulls energy and leadership, has missed the past two games because of a bad back and might not play until this weekend.

Scottie Pippen is nursing a sore knee, and Rose is just getting into his usual shape after missing the preseason with a bad thumb. Marcus Fizer is on the injured list, his surgically repaired right knee still not 100 percent.

"It would be nice to get everybody healthy at the same time," Cartwright said.

And for all of the Bulls' struggles, it is still early. More than 70 games remain, plenty of time to turn it around.

"One thing that should be noted is our guys are good guys," Cartwright said. "They want to win, they want to compete, they want to play. As a team, we have to come together. And I think this is a part of it."

11-17-2003, 10:12 AM
This time could get good fast as logn as they find out how to win on the road. They had a very good home record last year, and that shows improvement over the past few years.

11-17-2003, 11:08 AM
And for all of the Bulls' struggles, it is still early. More than 70 games remain, plenty of time to turn it around.

That says it right there, they've only played 8 games.