By K.C. Johnson, Tribune reporter
10:34 AM CST, February 17, 2014
When the Bulls gather Tuesday afternoon for their first practice after the All-Star break, they will do so as a team on the rise.
They will take a three-game win streak and victories in four of their last five into Wednesday’s showdown in Toronto. That game represents one of 12 remaining from their final 30 against a team .500 or better at the All-Star break.
Of the Bulls’ final 30 games, 16 are against teams currently in playoff position as of the All-Star break. They also have 16 home games and 14 road games remaining.
“We took a lot of hits early and to dig out of the hole, I think it shows a lot of spirit and will and determination,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We have the belief we can win. I think our offense is coming around. As a team, the quick ball movement has really helped us.”
A big part of the improved offense has been the play of Taj Gibson, who is having a career year offensively. Gibson is averaging 12.9 points overall but 15.8 points over his last 10 games, some of those where he started for the injured Carlos Boozer.
“You can’t say enough about all the things he’s doing for us,” Thibodeau said of Gibson. “He’s hitting his jump shot. He’s posting with strength. He’s commanding the double-team. He’s hitting the open man. He’s guarding every position on the floor. He’s making great effort. He plays for the team. Did I leave anything out?”
Of the Bulls’ remaining road games, they only have three multiple-game trips remaining. All three are just two games each.
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