Well, the Bulls laid an egg on Wednesday, on their home court no less. I said before that Indiana, Miami and Philadelphia were upcoming games that I felt were MUST wins for the Bulls.
I’ll start this recap out by saying that from what I saw (I missed the game on Wednesday and just got a chance to watch it), I’m not worried about the Pacers beating the Bulls in a best of 7 series. I’m just not. We’ll see what happens on March 5th when they come back to the United Center, but for now, I can live with what I saw. The Chicago Bulls are the better team. I know Pacerland is going to try to turn this into a rivalry, say that they are neck and neck with Chicago, etc. Not so fast Indy… Not so fast.
The Bulls played well enough to win this game. They obviously had a horrible third quarter where Indiana outscored the Bulls by 11 pts. However, that is to be expected on some nights. Bulls aren’t a team that averages 108, 110 points. They can struggle offensively and count on stellar defensive play and outrebounding their opponents to make up for it… And actually, on Wednesday, they almost pulled it off.
My observations of the loss:
- This win gives Pacer Nation confidence. They already think they are on par with us. Vogel was telling them last year that they were a better rebounding team than the Bulls. With Hibbert’s improved post play and the addition of West, its more true this season than last season (Pacers outrebounded Bulls 44-41 by the way). Last season however, that was a joke.
- Pacers can still be overwhelmed. Even with everything remaining as it was, you get a few more buckets out of the backcourt and we win, its as simple as that.
- This backcourt that some were maligning on Thursday generated 51 pts 21 asts and 11 reb on Monday. Yeah, it was against the Nets, but still. Rip’s gotta just completely suck offensively for a number of games before I’m upset because his playmaking is key to where the Bulls need to go.
- Boozer. Wow, you just wish he could finish better at the rim. This game reminded me of the ECF where you just wanted to die watching him missing shots. His defensive liabilities are what they are, I just need him to work on his awareness under the basket.
- Jo had a great game. Aggressive, battling on the boards, loved his effort. He needed Taj as a partner though.
- Brew was a beast. I don’t have enough superlatives for his game as he started for Deng. We will need every bit of that swagger on this 9 game road trip coming up. Every drop.
Derrick seems to think its unprofessional for lesser teams to celebrate on our home court when they get the win so he’s holding a grudge til’ he sees Indy again. He’ll get his chance on March 5th at the UC…
Lets move on to tonight’s contest against the Bucks, like D.Rose, I’m done with the Pacers for now…
Jennings has been beasting. Big-time play from him in huge wins over the Knicks and Miami. I’m sure he will want to perform a heat check against D.Rose and the Bulls. Derrick absolutely torched them last season. I’ll never forget the date. 3.26.11… With chants of M-V-P, M-V-P raining down on the league’s hottest candidate, he just made big shot after big shot. I know others have posted this already, however I want to house and catalog as many Bulls highlights as I can inside this blog so they are easily found later. Here it is in all its HD glory:
We caught a break with Bogut going down with an ankle fracture. I hate to say it like that. Great player and I hope he mends ok, its just such a survival of the fittest season that we’ve got to capitalize on other teams weaknesses, just like they are capitalizing on us.
MILWAUKEE BUCKS PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
|Point Guard||Brandon Jennings||Beno Udrih|
|Shooting Guard||Shaun Livingston||Mike Dunleavy|
|Small Forward||Carlos Delfino||Tobias Harris||Darington Hobson|
|Power Forward||Luc Richard Mbah a Moute||Larry Sanders|
|Center||Drew Gooden||Jon Leuer||Jon Brockman|
I am ashamed to say that I have not watched a Bucks game all year aside from highlights from the Heat and the Knicks game. I hate that Bogut went down for them because they had so many injuries LAST season. The good news for the Bulls is that Milwaukee struggles to score for stretches as well. There are 5 teams ahead of the Bulls in FG% and they are all teams that the Bulls are vulnerable to: Miami, Denver, OKC, Philadelphia and the Spurs. Defense is usually the difference maker against these teams because we can’t outscore them without it. Bucks are 22nd in the league in FG% at .427 and hopefully our defense will keep them below that average. I expect the Bulls to come out blazing because of the Pacers loss, however this is a funny season so who knows.
|Probable Bulls Starters | Roster and Statistics
Guard 1 Derrick Rose 6-3 | 190
Guard 32 Richard Hamilton 6-7 | 193
Forward 11 Ronnie Brewer 6-7 | 227
Forward 5 Carlos Boozer 6-9 | 266
Center 13 Joakim Noah 6-11 | 232
I didn’t have time to update my nice graphic of the Bulls. There are so many changes week to week based on our injury report. Taj is reportedly back, thank goodness. Deng is rumored to want to come back on Sunday. I don’t trust Miami and I don’t want them taking Deng out. Let him come back for another game.
I’ll be in-game tweeting from @ChiTwnBullsBlog C’mon Bulls, let’s start a new streak!
Game airs on WCIU at 7:00pm CST.