From now on, whenever someone wants to dispute the connection between confidence and winning in pro sports, I will offer the example of the 2012 Bulls, suddenly reduced to slumped shoulders and brittle spines.
Monday at the Berto Center convinced me the only place the Bulls truly believe they are going anytime soon is on vacation. It could begin as early as Tuesday night or as late as the weekend, but the vibe suggested it definitely will start soon and beating the heat will take on new meaning for Bulls players.
Psychologically, this team snapped when the anterior cruciate ligament in Derrick Rose's knee did at the end of Game 1. It doesn't take 76ers coach Dr. Doug Collins divulging confidential information to realize the Bulls collectively are suffering from basketball depression.
In the past 10 emotional days, the Bulls have lost their MVP, their emotional leader, Joakim Noah, and dealt publicly with a heart condition team Vice President John Paxson hoped to keep private before Collins sent well-wishes from the podium. Not coincidentally in that stretch, the Bulls also lost three straight games to a lesser team, their focus, identity and anything resembling a swagger.