So far, the "holding down the fort" portion of the 2012-13 season has gone reasonably well without Derrick Rose.
But the Bulls have to wonder what happened to their homecourt advantage. After losing to Milwaukee on Wednesday, their record at the United Center dropped to 10-9. Sacramento has a better record at home.
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"That's tough for us, because that's something coach really harps on is playing well at home," guard Nate Robinson said. "We'll bounce back and we'll be ready. Our fans are giving us great energy, so we have to give them wins."
The easy explanation is many of those home losses were low-energy efforts that Rose could easily turn into wins with a few choice drives to the basket.
The Bulls didn't practice Thursday before flying to New York to battle the Knicks. Two more home games are upcoming: Saturday against Phoenix and Monday against Atlanta.
"We've lost a lot of games at home we should have won. This one, too," Carlos Boozer said. "There were a lot of games at home we feel like we could have won. This one, too. We wish we could go back and play it again and play a little bit better. You can't go back. We're going to move forward, learn from it and play better next time out."
Jennings misses former coach:
Milwaukee played well in the two games since assistant Jim Boylan replaced head coach Scott Skiles.
After beating the Bulls on Wednesday, Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings talked about the change.
"At first, it was tough for me, just for the fact that Skiles was my coach the first four years in the league," he said. "I know the first night when we first had (Boylan), it was a little different looking at the sideline and he wasn't there."
Jennings scored 29 and 35 points in the two wins, over Phoenix and the Bulls.
"Guys are just playing free," he added. "We're not really thinking any more, we're just hooping."
Bucks throw block party:
The Bulls had 15 shots blocked during the loss to Milwaukee, including 7 by center Larry Sanders.
According to Bulls radio statistician Jeff Mangurten, it's the most for the Bulls since they had 17 shots blocked against Toronto on Feb. 29, 2000. San Antonio blocked 20 shots against the Bulls on Nov. 26, 1999, matching the franchise high.
"To me, when you're studying your opponent and you see where their strengths and weaknesses lie, you have to figure out how you're going to play against them," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "When we made the simple play and hit the first open man, then moved the ball, we got pretty good shots. When we didn't do that, we didn't."