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Bulls Mon Nov 03 2014

Bulls Hit with Minor Injuries to Start the Season

Chicago Bulls
Coming off three games in four days, the Bulls had their fair share of minor injuries and shaky performances. The biggest scare was seeing Derrick Rose come up limping against the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night. Now knowing it was a minor ankle sprain, Bulls fans can breathe a little easier. Taj Gibson suffered an ankle sprain also, which resulted in him and Rose missing the game against Minnesota for precautionary reasons.

Jimmy Butler, who missed the first two games of the season, returned from his thumb sprain Saturday night against the Timberwolves. Butler is now a restricted free agent but hopes to still sign with the Bulls in the summer. Butler came up big hitting two clutch free throws with 0.2 seconds left in the game to seal the Bulls 106-105 victory over the Timberwolves. What Butler did was continue the sort of play he had shown in the preseason. He spent the off-season working to add a turn-around jumper to his game and get into better condition. Butler led the Bulls with 24 points and was 11-of-15 from the free throw line.

The Bulls still didn't play a good game giving up a last second three pointer by Kevin Martin after giving Minnesota multiple opportunities. Rebounding and defense has been the Bulls strength but the last two games has seen some weaknesses that need improvement. Giving up over 100 points in consecutive games is rare under Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau said this is still a work in progress, in regards to his team blowing a lead in both games against the Cavs and Timberwolves.

The Bulls know it's a long season and there will be early season woes and setbacks. Already being hit with the injury bug, the team's depth has come into play with everyone from Tony Snell to Aaron Brooks making huge contributions, but if the Bulls hope to be championship contenders, they have to have everyone healthy and playing at a high level. With Butler back and Rose likely returning Tuesday against the Orlando Magic, the starters can finally play together and build chemistry with each other.

That means Hinrich can return to the Bulls bench and help lead that unit. The next five games are against teams that didn't make the playoffs last season and should win. With everyone set to return in the upcoming week, we can expect improved play all around as each game progresses. The main goal of this team is to get through the whole 82 games healthy. While the first three have been rocky, they still came out 2-1 with a much easier part of the schedule on the horizon.

 
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