Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls: Are Back-to-Back Clunkers a Cause for Concern?

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 02: Earl Boykins #6 of the Houston Rockets grabs John Lucas III #15 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on April 2, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Rockets defeated the Bulls 99-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Jim PoljakContributor IIIApril 3, 2012

The Chicago Bulls lost back-to-back games for the first time since February of 2011, ending their streak of 86 straight regular season games.  

This was the second-longest such streak in NBA history.

Normally, losing consecutive games wouldn't be a big deal.  The reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks lost six straight games at one point last season, and had two other losing streaks of at least three games.

For some reason, it feels different with the Bulls getting drubbed by Oklahoma City on Sunday and giving away the game to Houston on Monday.

There seemed to be something missing from the Bulls these last two games.  

The defense wasn't steady and the offense couldn't find itself.  Whatever moves Coach Thibodeau made seemed to miss on making the impact he wanted.

The obvious reason is Derrick Rose missing his 11th consecutive game with a groin injury.  But the Bulls have become more than the "Derrick Rose Show" this season.

They have found ways to win without him, usually through defense and not turning over the ball, and still sit atop the NBA with the league's best record. 

Usually the obvious answer is obvious for a reason. Without Derrick Rose, the Bulls are just another good NBA team.  

They are capable of winning a bunch of regular season games and probably a playoff series or two, but that's about it.  

They need their superstar on the court, directing and leading his team, if they want to win an NBA title.

But what if D-Rose doesn't return?

According to an ESPNChicago.com article, http://espn.go.com/chicago/nba/story/_/id/7761735/chicago-bulls-derrick-rose-said-believes-return-court-regular-season-ends, Rose is unsure of his return date and only thinks he will be ready for the playoffs. 

Rose admits that he is having a hard time running and doesn't know how long it will take him to get back to game form.  

He has now missed 21 games this season due to varying injuries and his absence in the lineup is starting to have adverse effects on his teammates.

When it all comes down to it, the regular season is only good for one thing: Getting into the playoffs.

Being the top seed doesn't guarantee you a title, or even a trip to the NBA Finals.  The better team will almost always come out the victor in a seven game series regardless of their seed.  

Should Bulls fans worry about their team losing back-to-back games for the first time in over a year?

Not at all.

Is the way the Bulls lost those two games, committing 31 turnovers and allowing Oklahoma City and Houston to shoot 47.8% from the field, a cause for concern?

Yes.  

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