Chicago Bulls: 4 things that went wrong in Game 1 vs Bucks

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

1. Big 3 Was a Bust in Crunch Time

A team can only go as far as their stars take them … and the Bulls’ group failed when it mattered most in this one.

LaVine and Vucevic had great moments throughout the game, but also were part of the plays that lost it altogether. Vucevic missed a point-blank layup in the final four minutes of play that would’ve cut the lead to one. He botched not one, but two, put-backs. He then got beat down the floor by Brook Lopez, who ended up getting an and-one (though the play could’ve been a charge).

LaVine’s youth showed in the fourth quarter. After a strong third quarter, he entered the final period pressing for shots and taking ill-advised long jumpers. In many of those situations, he had Jrue Holiday when seeking handoffs — a matchup that usually favors LaVine.

Instead of exploding to the rim, he took step-back three after step-back three. The worst shot came at the 29-second mark. The Bulls were down three with the ball. They could’ve ran the clock down and went for a quick two at the rim.

Instead, LaVine took a 31-foot fadeaway 3-point attempt. The shot was a brick and the Bucks got the rebound and the win.

The most disappointing player of the big three, however, was DeMar DeRozan. He finished the game with 18 points on 25 shot attempts. His midrange mastery wasn’t on display and instead of adjusting, he continued to shoot contested shots without getting others involved.

Down the stretch, his shot selection is what did the Bulls in. He had multiple isolation looks where he had a head full of steam. Instead of absorbing the contact and taking a layup, he faded away and took off-balance jumpers. He went 1-of-6 in the fourth quarter and only attempted one shot in the paint.

The stars weren’t bright in Game 1, shooting a combined 21-for-71 from the field … but the team only lost by seven. If the Bulls’ stars can actually be stars, they have a shot at upsetting the defending champs. If they play like they did on Sunday, though?

1, 2, 3 … Cancun.

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