Chicago Bulls Protect Home Court With 2-0 Start Against Bucks


All of the expectations that were placed on the Chicago Bulls at the beginning of the season dropped off when the injury bug struck again, and the team fought the entire tenure of the year to get healthy. They spent the entire season trying to build the chemistry that many felt would be championship-caliber once the team figured out how to play together.

In the Bulls’ first two playoff games, the team may have reaffirmed the expectations that were placed upon them when Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman and Vice President John Paxson put this roster together. After this injury-plagued regular season, the two questions facing the Bulls were these: Could they remain healthy enough to make a deep playoff run? And could their chemistry be what it should be after the team only played 23 games together in the regular season?

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In the first half of Game 1, the Bulls held the Bucks to 43 percent shooting, while shooting 55 percent themselves, and recorded 17 team assists. Although the Bulls were dominant in Game 1, one of the issues that has haunted the Bulls all season is their ability to limit their turnovers. In the first half, the Bucks forced 10 Chicago turnovers and scored 17 points off of those turnovers.

Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose both combined for 48 points in that half, on 11-15 shooting. In the third quarter, the Bucks started off with a 6-2 run, but Rose made two 3-pointers in a 2-minute span and put the Bulls ahead 77-66. Chicago would win Game 1, 103-91.

In Game 2, the Bulls set a franchise record of 64 rebounds in a playoff game This was a game where the Bucks really clamped down defensively on both Rose and Pau Gasol. The two shot 12-33 from the field in the contest. The first half was the lowest scoring half of the playoffs so far; both teams combined for just 27 points by the end of the first quarter, and it was a half where Rose was held scoreless after having the great performance he had in Game 1.

The turning point of the game came with 7:46 left in the fourth quarter. The Bulls led 78-74, and a pair of 3-point shots from Butler and Tony Snell and an emphatic dunk from Jimmy over Zaza Pechulia resulted in a 3-point play. This put Chicago ahead 81-74. The Bulls would hold on to win 91-82 and take a 2-0 series lead. Butler led the Bulls with a postseason career-high 31 points. Jimmy scored 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, and he did it with style; he even gave the old Jordan shrug as he knocked down a barrage of 3-point shots down the stretch. The Bulls will now travel to Milwaukee for games 3 and 4.

Next: Would Michael Jordan Average 50 PPG? Not So Much

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