Banged-up Bulls look to get back to the basics

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CHICAGO - For the first time in the Fred Hoiberg era, the Bulls are three games under .500.

Add in the fact that they lost by a combined 77 points during the last three stops of their six-game road trip and it's easy to see why some fans are already throwing in the towel.

"The trip ended, obviously, in a very difficult way," remarked Hoiberg. "Got off to a great start with maybe our most complete game of the season at Oklahoma City. You know it seems like it was two months ago. Didn't even feel like it was on the same trip."

"Then, again in Sacramento, played a lot of really good basketball in that game. It does seem like a while but it wasn't. That's the message to these guys. We're fully capable of playing good basketball, but you have to get off to good starts. You have to take care of the basketball. You have to rebound. It's basics. It's fundamentals. It's the little things that we have to do better if we want a chance to win."

Even though they're still the seven seed in the East with 27 games left on the regular season slate, a recent rash of injuries might make it tough to right the ship.

Dwyane Wade hurt both of his wrists after a rough fall Friday night in Phoenix.

X-Rays on his right wrist reportedly came back negative.

However, today he had an MRI just to be safe.

Wade, Nikola Mirotic and Paul Zipser are considered doubtful for tomorrow's meeting with the Raptors.

Zipser had been battling the flu over the weekend and today he had an MRI on his ankle.

Mirotic wasn't able to practice due to some nagging back issues.

Jimmy Butler was able to get a few reps in, but his status is up in the air.

There's a lot up in the air right now for the Bulls. Part of Hoiberg's job is to keep guys positive in the locker room.

So who keeps him positive?

"My dog doesn't care if we win or lose," Hoiberg laughed. "The big thing is I have a great family. They try to keep me level-headed. It's hard. You try not to take it home with you. It's nice to have that outlet. It's hard when we're on the road for as long as we were. That's who you lean on. You lean on the people closest to you. For me, it's my family and it's my staff."

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