Rose came out ready. Ready to lead his team in the huddle. Ready to drive the ball into the paint and finish. Ready to dish the ball to teammates. Ready to shut the haters and doubters up… It was a perfect scenario for him and long time fans of Derrick couldn’t be happier for the former league MVP.
My stomach was in knots as this contest began. I wanted the Bulls to come out aggressive, but they fell into an early hole and had to dig out. Didn’t take them long to gain control of this contest though and they played with an intensity worthy of a playoff series opener. The Bucks would end up with three starters in foul trouble (Giannis, Middleton and Zaza), however they fought hard.
FT Attempts Edge: 26-22 Bucks
Rebounding Edge: 52-41 Bulls
Defensive stats: 7 blocks, 8 steals, 13 pts off (13) Bucks turnovers, Bucks 39.3% shooting
Game Synopsis: The game started with Milwaukee grabbing an early lead in the 1st quarter but the Bulls quickly caught up. Their ball movement was stellar… 30 assists on 38 made field goals. Rose would come out of the game at the 6:11 mark for Tony Snell. He would later say he was just winded. He’d re-enter the game at the 8:06 mark of the 2nd quarter and that’s when he went to work. Connecting on 2 drives and a floating jump shot. Butler was also great with a mix of threes, drives and 7-8 FT attempts. Just the right amount of aggression. Pau struggled a bit under the Bucks defensive attention/schemes, but that just meant more opportunities for the guards. Brooks also had 13pts on 4-9 shooting.
Game Changer: From the 7:00 mark in the 3rd quarter to the 4:34 mark, Rose curiously, after missing his first two 3pt attempts, drained three 3 pointers. Two of them from pretty deep. The first one occurred with Milwaukee only down 7 pts. This kind of took the wind out of their sails as they would not be able to bring the deficit back to single digits after this.
Peak Performer(s): J. Butler CHI (25pts 2rebs 6asts 1stls 0blk) 35min. Very strong outing from Butler. Rose followed with 23 pts and 7 assists. Pau went for 10pts (5-17 shooting) and 13rebs… Taj had 8pts and 11rebs (SEVEN offensive). Great effort from Taj, who left with a knee issue. EVERYONE seemed to be assisting too. Each starter had at least 4. It was amazing to watch.
Weak Performer: Tough to crucify anyone after yesterday’s victory. Bulls turnovers kept this from being a blowout victory. 25 Bucks points off of 19 Bulls turnovers. Many were unforced.
Main Hashtag: #MILvsCHI
In Game Tweets
- This was Derrick’s first post season game in 1,085 days.
- Derrick left the game at the :51 mark to a standing ovation.
- Taj was spotted in the tunnel riding the stationery bike. Strained knee, however he has already said that he’ll be all good for game 2.
Game 2… Adjustments, adjustments, adjustments. I’m predicting that Pau will NOT go 5-17 again. The Bucks overcompensated double teaming Gasol, which is why the guards were able to go to work. Many say Rose is begging for a double team with his post game comments, however a player of his caliber is used to defenses like that and I’ve been saying for a while now that two on the ball should be EASY OFFENSE for us. Someone is open. Period. We’ll see what happens.
Game is on TNT tomorrow so we’ll get to listen to the NBAonTNT panel weigh in on Rose’s latest return. 7PM CST. Stacey will also be holding court on CSN if you’d like the local call. I’ll be in-game tweeting from @ChiTwnBullsBlog! Follow us for the latest…