Second half of Bulls' season will be hectic
The NBA released the second-half schedule on Wednesday and first impression is: It's a little hectic.
The Bulls are slated to play 16 games in 30 days in April, along with 12 in 21 days when they return from the all-star break.
The second half will begin with a five-game homestand. The Bulls will host Philadelphia on Mar. 11 in the first game back, then Miami the next night, followed by Toronto, Oklahoma City and San Antonio. Bulls coach Billy Donovan shared his thoughts before Wednesday's game against Minnesota.
"Listen, everybody's dealing with this in terms of trying to play a condensed schedule in a short period of time," he said. "There's a lot of challenges with it on a lot of fronts. Very, very limited practice times.
"The balance of the rest and recovery, how well those guys take care of themselves, what we can get done in shootarounds, how can we continually progress and get better with limited practice time -- a lot to juggle. Really challenging. But I think everybody's kind of dealing with the same circumstances."
March will end with the team's second extended trip west, with stops in San Antonio, Golden State, Phoenix and Utah. In mid-April, they have a stretch of five games in seven days, and they'll stay in Miami for a two-game series.
The regular-season finale is scheduled to land on Sun., May 16 -- about a month later than usual -- when Milwaukee visits the United Center. The play-in tournament will return this year, so the Bulls need to finish at least 10th in the East to keep going.
Donovan said he hasn't thought yet about whether to give anyone nights off in the second half of the season.
"I think over the all-star break is the time we'll get together as a staff, certainly we'll include the medical in that," he said. "Obviously with the break coming there will be a period of time that these guys will get a chance to kind of recharge, rejuvenate, get away from it for a few days.
"And then we come back right into a back-to-back. I'd imagine, I'm hopeful we'll come back refreshed. But then right when those games starts, the back-to-back, you're in it. So, yeah, I think all those things need to be on the table in terms of how guys are doing physically."