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News » Chicago Bulls Notes, Quotes 2009-12-12

Chicago Bulls Notes, Quotes 2009-12-12

Chicago Bulls Notes, Quotes 2009-12-12--After a brutal three-game stretch, which included two losses by more than 30 points and one to a team off to the worst start in NBA history (New Jersey at 1-19), questions began to arise about coach Vinny Del Negro's job security. There were indications management wanted to give Del Negro a chance to work through the recent slump with a healthy lineup. At the same time, the Bulls expected to make the playoffs this season and there may not be a great deal of patience if the struggles continue. For his part, Del Negro wasn't ready to concede anything.

"My thing is, I'm a fighter," he said. "We fight as a team, we stick together as a team. The NBA is tough. Pro sports is tough. Guys want to rip your heart out of you and you've just got to be tough enough to continually persevere and find ways to get better. We had our struggles last year and things ended up pretty well."

One strange aspect to the Bulls' season is they got off to an impressive start. They owned a 6-4 record after 10 games and gave up 100 points just once. In the second 10 games, the Bulls went 1-9 and allowed at least 100 points eight times. Granted, they played a tough schedule, but after playing some tough games out West, the Bulls seemed to lose their edge on defense.

"The beginning of the year, we were getting stops, getting out and running," forward Luol Deng said. "We were playing hard. When you get stops, your confidence is up and you get more stops. But right now we're fighting for that stop and when we don't get it, it seems like it's affecting both ends."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Overall, the key guys, I think the effort's been there. If they feel like they're not putting in the effort, then that's their responsibility. They're pros, they get paid to do their job. If it takes a coach to yell at them or whatever, it doesn't make a lot of sense." -- Vinny Del Negro, on whether a head coach should be held responsible if a team fails to show much effort on the court.

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Added: December 12, 2009


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