Bulls fall in overtime against hapless Jazz
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter
Tony Snell, Gordon Hayward
SALT LAKE CITY — Life without Derrick Rose is becoming a rougher go than anyone had anticipated.
And while coach Tom Thibodeau continued to try to will his team to keep pushing forward, the Bulls’ 89-83 overtime loss to what was a one-win Jazz team was just another reminder that this is a team still overcome by emotion after the news they received Monday morning.
“The highs and lows are crazy,’’ center Joakim Noah said of his last three days since Rose tore the medial meniscus in his right knee. ‘‘We keep saying no excuses, this and that. Right now, I have to find my spirit, my spirit out there on the court. I’m just really hurting for Derrick, hurting for our team.
“I’m going through it, our team is going through it. It’s not easy. We’re just trying to find a way.’’
Eight hours before taking the court against the Jazz, the Bulls found out that Rose’s surgery was successful, but he would be lost for the season.
Even with a veteran core, there definitely seems to be a hangover, not only mentally but physically as they try to find some chemistry with a new-look starting lineup and rotation.
Thibodeau gave rookie Tony Snell his first start, which allowed him to bring Mike Dunleavy off the bench and keep the second unit a bit more sturdy.
Snell, who was taken with the 20th pick, came into the game averaging just over five minutes and was coming off a career-high five points in 28 minutes Sunday against the Clippers.
He had nine points against the Jazz.
The Bulls (6-7) have lost four consecutive regular-season games for the first time under Thibodeau.
“The challenge for us right now is we’re in the midst of four games in five days, so you don’t have a lot of practice time, and you’re trying to get organized in a [hotel] ballroom,’’ Thibodeau said.
“And it’s good; that’s what you have. You have to make the most of that, but you want to have some practice time, too. That will be important for us.
“We’re going to keep pushing, fighting and grinding, and we’ll find a way.’’