If an absolute blowout in their first game without Derrick Rose is any indication, things may not go too well for the Chicago Bulls this season.
Looking to begin adjusting to life without Rose, the Bulls head into a road matchup with the woeful Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.
The Bulls are 0-3 on their six-game road trip and just found out that they won't have their star guard until 2014-15 following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
The 2011 NBA MVP missed all of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Chicago's 2012 playoff opener against Philadelphia. He has played in just 50 games since the Bulls' run to the Eastern Conference finals during his MVP season.
'I think we have an understanding of what we need to do,' coach Tom Thibodeau said. 'We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We have to circle the wagons, and then get out there and get the job done.'
While Chicago (6-6) mostly played well without Rose last season, there's ample cause for concern after the Bulls were thoroughly dominated in their first game without him Sunday, losing 121-82 to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kirk Hinrich had nine points and seven assists while starting in place of Rose, who averaged a career-low 15.9 points this season and played in just 10 games before getting hurt again.
Luol Deng scored 22 and Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy added 14 apiece Sunday for Chicago, which suffered its worst loss since a 121-79 defeat at Sacramento on March 13.
Despite the lopsided defeat, the Bulls reached the second round of the playoffs without Rose in 2012-13.
"We've done it before," Thibodeau said. "But we've got to get the fight. That's the first part of it - the determination, the fight and the will. The core of the team in there is the same core we had last year."
The Bulls close their road trip with games against Detroit and Cleveland after facing the Jazz, loser of six straight and nine of the last 11 matchups.
Chicago, winner of three of four in Salt Lake City, held the Jazz to a season-low point total in a 97-73 home win Nov. 8 that matches Utah's biggest loss of 2013-14. The Jazz were also beaten by 24 at Toronto on Nov. 9.
Utah (1-14) equaled that point total Sunday in a 95-73 loss to Oklahoma City - its sixth consecutive defeat since its only win Nov. 13 against New Orleans.
Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert scored 10 points apiece to lead the Jazz, who shot 39.4 percent in falling to 0-9 on the road.
Rookie Trey Burke finished with four points on 2-of-9 shooting in his first start.
"We're trying to build who we are in this league with this group of guys, and we've got to have more of a sense of urgency to start a game, especially against a team that's this good," coach Tyrone Corbin said.
Utah, which has lost 10 games by 10 points or more, opens a two-game homestand that concludes Friday against Phoenix.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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