Bulls becoming frustrating study in drama, theatrics

It would be nice if the Bulls had a take-care-of-business attitude every night, but that just hasn’t been the case this season. They’ve proved they can beat anyone in the league, but they also can lose to anyone.

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The Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan dribbles upcourt against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

The Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan dribbles upcourt against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The dog was chasing.

That’s about the best analogy veteran forward DeMar DeRozan could come up with in the wake of the Bulls’ signature victory of the season so far.

With the Bulls trailing by 11 with just more than three minutes left in regulation Wednesday, DeRozan led a furious comeback before turning in a dominant performance in overtime in a victory against the Bucks at the United Center.

It was the Bulls’ second victory against the Bucks this season to go with two each against the Celtics and Heat and one against the red-hot Nets.

So how does a team that has lost to the Magic, Rockets and Thunder have a 7-1 record against the Eastern Conference’s elite?

‘‘It’s kind of like when you’re running fast, you start running faster if a dog starts chasing you, right?’’ DeRozan said. ‘‘That’s kind of like that type of feeling, if that makes sense.’’

Therein lies the frustration with the Bulls: Why wait for the dogs to be unleashed to care enough to start sprinting?

Urgency can’t be treated like a light switch. That’s how teams have disappointing seasons and front offices are duped into chasing fool’s gold.

How can Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas wake up Thursday morning and say, ‘‘I’ve got to blow this up?’’ That would be hard to justify when the players have competed well against the NBA’s best on most nights.

But that’s the problem with the 15-19 Bulls: They’re inconsistent enough to lose to anyone in the league but good enough to force Karnisovas & Co. to stick with the ‘‘continuity’’ plan, preventing him from at least trying to flip some pieces for draft capital.

What Karnisovas has on his side, however, is a little time. The trade deadline isn’t until Feb. 9, so if DeRozan can get his teammates to play with urgency rather than just talk about it, minds can be eased.

‘‘I guess the best brings the best out of you,’’ DeRozan said. ‘‘Now we’ve got to translate that over to carrying that within and go out there and play like that every single night. . . .

‘‘We’ve got to play with that sense of urgency every single night, and nights like this [against the Bucks] we’ve got to turn into consistency.’’

It’s basically what coach Billy Donovan has been begging of his team since last season. Donovan calls it ‘‘the price of admission,’’ the fee players have to pay every game. That means playing hard mentally and physically, even if that means sacrificing your body for the team.

And that’s just to get in the door, as far as Donovan is concerned. Then there are all the other details of the game that have to be taken care of.

Do these Bulls have the makeup to do that in the remaining 48 games? Considering they have the second-easiest schedule left in the NBA, that definitely will be tested.

That’s why, as frustrating as it has been for the fan base, it’s likely that Karnisovas won’t be a seller at the deadline. In fact, maybe he will look to add some minor pieces.

Either way, DeRozan has a feeling it will be interesting.

‘‘Very theatrical,’’ DeRozan said of the Bulls’ season so far. ‘‘That’s what makes a great movie. We’ve just got to end it off well. Definitely been entertaining.’’

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