Taj Gibson says teams "smell blood" against the Bulls, losers of 12 of their past 17, and it's up to them to rediscover their identity on defense.
Kemba Walker scored 30 points, and the Charlotte Hornets led from the start and beat the Chicago Bulls 108-91 on Monday night.
Hornets take care of short-handed Bulls
Chicago was without Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose, and Charlotte made the most of it, outscoring the Bulls 38-20 in the first quarter and cruising to a 108-91 win to get to .500 on the season. Box score
Is Jon Lester justifying his cost?
After signing a six-year, $155 million contract, Lester's WAR declined from 4.6 to 3.1 in 2015. But remember, 2014 was arguably his best season. David Schoenfield looks at how other stars fared in Year 1 of their mega-deals. Free agents after mega-contracts
Bulls down big at halftime
With no Jimmy Butler and no Derrick Rose, the Bulls are struggling to put the ball in the basket. They're shooting 35% from the field and trail the Hornets 57-42 at the break. Follow live
Hornets nearly double up Bulls
Eight different Hornets players scored in the first quarter, as they put up 38 points, taking an 18-point lead over the visiting Bulls after 1. Charlotte has won 3 of its past 4 games coming into tonight. Follow live
Hornets fly out to big lead
Charlotte has made 7 of its first 9 shots from the field, taking a 17-6 lead and forcing an early Bulls timeout. Chicago is playing without Derrick Rose (soreness). Follow live
Derrick Rose out vs. Hornets
The Bulls guard will miss tonight's game due to general body soreness. "Just soreness all over," Rose said before the game. "That's pretty much it. Body soreness."
Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was a surprise scratch from his team's game Monday against the Hornets because of general body soreness.
Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer
Clifford said that Thibodeau has made himself a better coach during his time off from basketball. "I think what he's done is exactly what I thought he would do is I think he used it to grow as a coach," Clifford said. "We talk regularly and when you talk to him -- he's an expert on this league. He's using this to study teams, study trends, study players. He's always been on top of it anyway, but a sabbatical, it's not like he's -- he's relaxing and doing different things like that, but he's studying. He'll be an even better coach when he comes back."
Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer
Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford is one of Tom Thibodeau's closest friends and confidants. Clifford was asked before the game how much interest he thought Thibodeau would have in the New York Knicks job now that Derek Fisher has been fired. "I don't have any idea," Clifford said before Monday's game against the Chicago Bulls. "Obviously, he wants to coach again and that's a great job, he worked there and everything, but you'd have to ask him about that."
Cardinals lineup vs. Jake Arrieta
In eight starts over the past two seasons, Arrieta has a 1.86 ERA against the Cardinals and they've hit .208 against him. The four or five games that Arrieta starts against St. Louis could decide the NL Central. Hitter vs. pitcher matchups to watch
Miguel Cabrera vs. Chris Sale
Injuries have diminished his power, but maybe a healthy Cabrera can storm back as a 40-homer threat. Sale is coming off an incredible 274 strikeouts in just 208 innings. Who has the upper hand? Hitter vs. pitcher matchups to watch
Ranking Air Jordans
As all the sneakerheads know, the Air Jordan XXX drops Friday. What better time to look back at all 29 looks of past Jordan kicks? Full ranking
Coming into Monday's game against the Hornets, the Bulls have lost 11 of 16 and are running out of time to find the consistency they need.
The stretch run is here and the trade deadline is nearing, and the biggest names in the NHL began stepping up their play over the past week.
Will the Bears regress in '16?
The Bears got better in 2015, but there is concern among panelists that Jay Cutler could regress in 2016 without Adam Gase guiding him. The Bears landed near the bottom of our list as a result. Way-too-early Power Rankings
Tom Thibodeau for next Knicks coach?
He's one name mentioned by ESPN's expert panel in the wake of Derek Fisher's firing. Would that require Phil Jackson to scrap his beloved triangle? 5-on-5 (Insider)
Where will Ian Desmond end up?
Desmond might be in the toughest spot among free agents who turned down qualifying offers, with no slam-dunk SS openings existing in either league. Consider the White Sox, however. Their payroll is flat from last year, and they fancy themselves contenders. Unsigned qualifying-offer free agents (Insider)
Where will Dexter Fowler end up?
For Insider Tony Blengino, Fowler is the best free agent still on the board who turned down a qualifying offer. The Nationals, Dodgers, Cubs and Rangers are the most likely landing spots for the outfielder, according to Blengino. Unsigned qualifying-offer free agents (Insider)
Jimmy Butler out again on Monday
The Bulls' All-Star swingman will miss another game with a left knee strain he suffered on Friday. Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg is unsure when Butler would return and said he likely would also miss Wednesday's game, the last one before the All-Star break.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg remains unsure of exactly when All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler will be able return from a left knee strain.
Defense reigned supreme
The Broncos put together one of the most dominant defensive efforts in Super Bowl history, putting up numbers similar to the '85 Bears and '00 Ravens.