Let me tell you Pippen Peoples, had the Bulls had a let down in this game looking ahead to Washington, I would have thrown my computer out the window. Luckily the Bulls won because these computers are expensive these days. The Chicago Bulls held serve in the race for the number three seed in the Leastern conference beating the Milwaukee Bucks 102-90 in a game that was never really in doubt. It’s a good thing too considering that the Toronto Raptors beat the seemingly free-falling Indiana Pacers 102-94. With the win the Bulls collect their fourth straight win and six of their last seven. They play the number six seed Washington Wizards next in what could be a preview in the first round if the Bulls can claim the third seed and the Wizards stay where they are now.
The Bulls were led in scoring by their starting backcourt consisting of Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich with 17 points apiece. It’s hard to say if this was a sign of things to come or that it just shows how bad the Milwaukee Bucks are as a team. It’s not like they have a strong frontline to begin with. Now coupled with the fact Larry Sanders has been suspended for smoking the “Happy Tree”, “Mary Jane”, well you know where I’m getting at these two had red carpet treatment to score when they wanted. They didn’t go down the dark alley alone. Seven Bulls players finished in double figures. Carlos Boozer and DJ Augustin scored 14 points apiece. Taj Gibson had 13 points coming off the bench. Mike Dunleavy had 12 points and Joakim Noah finished will 11 points and 13 rebounds. Here’s the funny thing though. He only shot 2-14 from the field and had five turnovers. Doesn’t matter, if you’re going to have an off night, a game with Milwaukee is a perfect situation to have one.
This game was basically over straight from the gate. The Bulls jumped out to a 13-4 lead and led 27-15 after the first quarter. This is a good thing Pippen Peoples because earlier this season against the Bucks, it was the exact opposite. They came out flat and fell behind 10-2. The Bulls had things well in hand at the half leading 51-35 even though no players were in double figures at that point. This is another good trend going into the playoffs considering the scoring is spread out as opposed to placing the scoring load all on one player every night. Up until halftime, seven players had scored at least five points. Let’s be clear here, the Bulls do not have a player that can consistently create his own shot (That Derrick Rose dude is out for the season) so the ball movement, getting everyone involved will be paramount for the Bulls who need to score once in a blue moon to be successful in getting out of the first round. The defense is not an issue being ranked fourth in the league. Being DEAD LAST in the NBA in scoring is definitely an issue is the perfect Segway going into how the Bulls started the last frame.
The Bulls were up 82-62 going in to the 4th quarter. Then the scoring for the Bulls stepped out to have a smoke and did not come back for six minutes. Understand that there are twelve minutes in a NBA quarter, so that means the Bulls scored three points for half the period. This cannot happen in a couple of weeks. After the Bucks cut the lead to 85-77 during Chicago’s smoke break, Kirk Hinrich knocked down a three to keep things safe for the Bulls. Brandon Knight led the Bucks with 22 points before fouling out and former Charlotte Bobcat Jeff Adrien had 21. I’ll bet the Bucks are dreaming of sandy beaches anywhere considering that they have lost four straight overall and 12 straight on the road.
Ah, the Boozer report. I would like to thank all of the fans that really spew that hate in their comments when discussing this dude. It makes these reports all the more fun. Carlos scored 14 points as I said before on 6-16 shots. He collected 11 rebounds (three offensive) and dished out five assists. All in 24 minutes when everyone knows the street lights come on because for the last four games he hasn’t played one second over that. No matter how well he shoots.
The Washington Wizards game is next up. They made me mad beating the Knicks last night at Madison Square Garden. The Bulls can’t have a “smoke break” scoring wise against these guys. I have always said the Bulls do not match up well against the Wizards especially in the backcourt. Bradley Beal is coming off a 28 point night that was wrapped up with a game winner. If Hinrich comes out with one of those games where he scores “Nada” it will be a long night. If Jimmy Butler doesn’t come out aggressive and attack John Wall and Bradley Beal instead of jacking up threes like the six he put up against the Bucks only hitting one it’ll be a long night.
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Tags: Chicago Bulls