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Bulls’ players eager for full roster to come together for playoffs

By K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune –

Tom Thibodeau went into greater detail than usual about the Bulls’ recent shortcomings after Monday’s loss to the Rockets, the first time they had dropped two straight regular-season games in 14 months.

Thibodeau’s comments were more instructional than angry, but he did challenge the Bulls to reclaim the fight they typically have displayed in the past. Although players didn’t agree with Thibodeau’s colorful claim that the Bulls “let go of the rope,” they publicly didn’t have any issue in admitting the play has lacked of late.

“Nobody’s happy with losing,” Joakim Noah said Monday night. “So he’s not the only one. We all feel like we can do better. And we will. We’ll be at practice. We’re watching film. We’ll be all right.”

In fact, Luol Deng pointed to character that had allowed the Bulls to lead the NBA in regular-season victories the last two seasons as to why they will rebound from their mini-slump.

“There are a lot of concerns going on but we have guys who will try to turn it around,” Deng said. “We haven’t played well the last two games. We still have games before the playoffs. We have practices to work to where we were.

“It will be good to have everyone back (from injury). It’s a lot easier for everyone when everyone is healthy and we have our full squad. Everyone can do their job and not try to get outside the box and do something they’re not used to doing.”

Layups: Derrick Rose missed Tuesday’s charity function to attend to a personal matter, according to a team spokesman. … Asked if the compressed, 66-game schedule has been more difficult than an 82-game affair, Noah said: “I feel great. There are no excuses. It’s the same for everybody.”

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