The Bulls entered All-Star Weekend on a sour note, losing four of five and falling behind the Pacers in the Central Division.

After an intense practice Monday afternoon at the Berto Center, Tom Thibodeau hopes his group is prepared to enter the home stretch on a different note.

"We had slippage," Thibodeau said of the Bulls' recent stretch of play. "The big thing is getting our intensity level back up to where it needs to be so we can execute at a high level. And for us that's paramount. We have to clean some things up offensively and defensively, but the biggest thing is gonna be the level of intensity. We need to get that back."

That intensity was lacking the week leading up to the All-Star break. Road losses to Indiana, a 32-point loss at Denver and a home loss to a Spurs team missing their top three players left Chicago with a sour taste in their mouths after what was an otherwise impressive first half to the season.

Injuries certainly took its toll on the lineup, which Tom Thibodeau said made it a "strange finish" for his group. Kirk Hinrich missed all seven February games -- six of which were on the road -- with a right elbow injury, Joakim Noah missed three games to rest a plantar fasciitis injury he is still dealing with and Carlos Boozer missed three games himself with a hamstring injury.