Here's how close Chris Paul is to Marco Belinelli: Even though he loved their time together in New Orleans, he didn't recruit the shooting guard to the Clippers last summer.

"I talk to Belli all the time, but this situation was actually better for Belli," Paul said.

Paul isn't surprised Belinelli has put his early-season struggles behind him.

"He's one of the best shooters you've ever seen," Paul said. "Belli can shoot off the move, off standstill. A lot of times, it's just confidence and rhythm with him."

Belinelli, averaging 20.3 points in the last three games before Tuesday, has found that rhythm since replacing the injured Richard Hamilton as a starter.

"I have more confidence in myself," Belinelli said. "It's easy when you play a lot of minutes to get into a rhythm."

Time travel: Back-to-backs are as much a part of the NBA as tattoos. Every team can complain about at least one per season, and the one the Bulls began Tuesday is a doozy. After TV pushed Tuesday's tipoff to 8:30 p.m., the Bulls were to lose an hour to the Eastern time zone while flying to Philadelphia. They were scheduled to arrive at their hotel rooms near 4 a.m.

Groundhog day: Blake Griffin missed the entire 2009-10 season because of surgery on his broken left kneecap after the Clippers used the No. 1 overall pick on him. So he knows a little of what Derrick Rose is experiencing trying to rehabilitate from ACL surgery.