The Chicago Bulls are only a quarter of the way through the NBA season, but star wing Jimmy Butler isn't pleased with what he sees from the team thus far.
"I don't think we bring that fight every single night," Butler told reporters after Monday's practice. "I think we're starting to get back to that, but early on we weren't the hardest-playing team every night. We always need to and have to be the hardest-playing team."
The Bulls have started off 8-4, but this is clearly a different team on both sides of the floor than the previous year.
The Bulls earned a reputation for their consistent effort and defensive prowess under previous coach Tom Thibodeau, ranking in the top 10 in team defense every season. Despite a solid start under first-year coach Fred Hoiberg, the Bulls enter Tuesday night's game at Portland allowing 99.4 points per game, their highest opponents' average since the 2008-09 season.
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Does Jimmy Butler have a point? Do the Bulls take nights off? Is this team soft? Do they clam up when the matchups get tight?