The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost two in a row since acquiring Antawn Jamison, while the Chicago Bulls have won two in a row since the trade deadline. This is thanks in large part to newly acquired players, Flip Murray and Hakim Warrick.
In his first game as a Bull, Warrick logged just over 30 minutes off the bench, scoring 10 points and bringing down nine rebounds—six of them being offensive—but still took some Tyrus Thomas-esque jump and finished 5-for-13 from the field.
Murray added eight points and three rebounds off the bench.
Neither player looked completely in sync, but it was their first game in a Bulls' uniform, so they needed some slack. Warrick remained to be a huge factor with Joakim Noah still out of the lineup.
The Bulls squeaked out a 100-94 win in Minnesota.
In their second games, they looked far better.
Warrick logged a little more that 25 minutes off the bench, scoring 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, hauling in nine rebounds, and blocking two shots—a stat line the Bulls hoped to get from Tyrus Thomas throughout his career.
Murray played a little more than 28 minutes and finished the game with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal, and connected on 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.
They beat the 76ers 122-90 for their third largest margin of victory this season.
Kirk Hinrich has also put together two of his more impressive games of the season after the deadline.
Hinrich led all scorers with 20 points against Minnesota, but more importantly, shot 7-for-12 from the field, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. He also dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds.
Against Philadelphia, Hinrich was one of seven Bulls in double-digits, scoring 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. He had four assists and two steals.
The Bulls are doing what they have to do this month by beating weaker teams before they hit a tougher path in March. It was also good sign to see a well-rested Noah play seven minutes against the 76ers on Saturday, but they would not have won without Warrick logging quality minutes in place of him.
Murray is also providing a three-point shot off the bench that the Bulls have not really had all season given Salmons' struggles. Hinrich may also be focused on basketball again now that the trade deadline has passed.
The team needs Murray and Hinrich to be threats from beyond the arc because there's no other real option. Brad Miller and his three fingers don't really count.
The one difficult game coming up this month is Friday, at home against Portland.
Mark that day on your calendars because fans will get to see if the new-look Bulls have a chance to compete.