After a rough week, the Bulls get the chance to get away
CHICAGO – Unlike last week, it’s anyone’s guess what the theme of the next stretch of games will be for the Bulls.
Judging by what just went down in traditional and social media, however, they might have had an airline’s motto on their minds.
“Wanna Get Away?”
Southwest’s slogan was probably repeated a few times last Wednesday night and Thursday when the team hurled strong words at each other outside the locker room.
After this eased a bit and the team picked up a win over the Sixers, the Bulls hit the road for the better part of the next two weeks. Six-straight games are ahead against Western Conference opponents, starting Wednesday with the Thunder in Oklahoma City.
Good timing for a trip, right?
“We’re gonna have a lot of time together, to spend together. So from a team building and bonding standpoint, it’s always good,” said guard Dwyane Wade of the upcoming.
Can it fix some of the strife created over the past week?
“Nothing needs to be repaired, we’re grown men,” said Wade.
Whether that is true or not will depend on the actions on and off the court with the group from February 1st-12th when the play half-dozen games away from home. After Wednesday’s game with the Thunder, the Bulls take on James Harden’s Rockets in Houston before a match-up with DeMarcus Cousins’ Kings on Sunday.
A trip to face the defending Western Conference champions Warriors is February 6th with a game against the Suns two days later. The road swing concludes against former coach Tom Thibodeau’s Timberwolves in Minneapolis on February 12th.
“I never think it’s a bad thing when you have these opportunities to be together as a team on the road as long as we’re going to be,” said Hoiberg of the road trip for his 24-25 Bulls.
He has a reason to be optimistic since the highlight of the year so far came a long way from home. Back in November, the Bulls went 4-2 on their annual “Circus Trip” that boosted their record to 10-6. That was only the second time all season that the team was four games over .500.
“I thought we played extremely well, played hard, played together,” said Hoiberg. “That’s what it’s going to take if we’re gonna have a chance to win any of these games coming up. It’s a tough trip all around.”
Especially the first game against arguably the best player in the league this season. Russell Westbrook of the Thunder is averaging a triple-double(30.2 points, 10.3 assists, 10.6 rebounds per game) – hoping to become the first since Oscar Robertson in 1961-1962 to do so for an entire season.
“It’s remarkable, it’s incredible,” said Wade of Westbrook, who led the Thunder to a 109-94 win over the Bulls on January 9th. “Just the force that he plays with every game, the energy that he plays with, obviously everyone talks about it.
“That’s a talent.”
Maybe that will inspire the Bulls to get away with a purpose during the month of February.