Attitude means everything to the Bulls. And right now their attitude is quite simple: It's just November and they're playing a bunch of pushovers.
The competition will get better. The Bulls have to get better. It doesn't matter what they've done up until now, which happens to be the best start in franchise history.Wednesday night at America West Arena, they continued their dominance over the NBA's inferior talent, kicking off their seven-game trip with a 113-99 rout of winless Phoenix.
The Bulls (11-0) are cruising right now. The Suns (0-10) are cruising, too, but in the other direction.
"We were really worried about this game," said Bulls coach Phil Jackson. "We thought this team would play very hard because they were against the wall, having not won a game, and we thought maybe we'd be riding the confidence level too high."
Both Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen entered the game intent on taking it to Phoenix early. They ended up scoring 37 points apiece, Pippen's coming on 15-of-23 shooting. Michael Finley, out of Proviso East High School, led the Suns with 17 points off the bench.
"I thought our guys came out and played a solid game," said Jackson, "right up until the middle of the fourth quarter."
The Bulls led by as many as 23 in that quarter, but the Suns managed to chip away until they pulled to within 106-94 on a Rex Chapman layup with 2 minutes 39 seconds to go. That was as close as they got.
Jordan and Pippen combined to score the Bulls' first 25 points and scored all but three of the Bulls' 35 first-quarter points. Pippen scored 18 in the period.
"We just took what they gave us," Jordan said. "Scottie got us out of the blocks, and that took some pressure off me."