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Bulls vs. Bucks final score: Bulls lose miserable game

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports




I suppose both teams' sixth men (Taj Gibson and Ersan Ilyasova) are pretty OK, but just looking at these decimated lineups (and the Bucks had less to lose in the first place)  and we knew we would be in for a crappy game.

And we were right! And the Bulls lost it!

I did figure that even without Noah (bruised thigh that was revealed pregame), Deng (missing 2nd straight game with sore achillies), and the starting backcourt the Bulls would still find a way to pull this game out. The Bucks are possibly the league's worst team, and at least the Bulls remaining healthy players include some veterans and a system they know how to run.

And indeed, it looked like the Bulls were taking control starting in the 2nd quarter when Mike Dunleavy went off for 18 points on 7/7 shooting. It was at least some form of reliable offense, but it was the kind that's tough to sustain in that it requires, well, a system: with a lot of moving parts working in sync to succeed. It's not like they have a guard who can create very well (though in the bright side department, Tony Snell showed a couple of nice moves) and their 'post presence' of Boozer and Gibson had 12 combined turnovers (and a 9-23 shooting night from Boozer).

The Bulls did seem like they had their aesthetically galling 'grindy' brand of basketball securing a handle on Milwaukee, but as the Bucks were not really running much of an offense themselves they were able to capitalize on the Bulls turnovers (16 in the first 3 quarters, 18 overall)  grab a lot of offensive rebounds (over 29% offensive rebound rate). The Bulls themselves actually did alright in those categories themselves...or more like the Bucks were just as futile in those categories...did I mention this game was pretty terrible?...but weren't able to capitalize as easily as the longer and quicker and younger Bucks. I was going to say the Bulls faded down the stretch, though doing so kind of masks that their awful 4th quarter was more the norm, and that their only good quarter was the 2nd. But they indeed looked gassed especially on one possession where the Bucks grabbed 3 or 4 offensive rebounds.

The best example of the Bucks bad being at least jumpy and long-armed was John Henson, who had a game-high 25 points including one ridiculous turnaround fadeaway that was the last meaningful points of the game, made after Dunleavy hit a 3 to cut the Bucks lead to 1. And it's not even like Henson looked that good either. There were so many botched layups, fast breaks, defensive rotations, missed shot after shot after shot after shot (Bulls PGs: 1-17, Kirk's night culminating in a Hinrich Maneuver resulting in a turnover used in a possession where they needed a quick shot, ugh)...

..I thought only trades would get this Bulls team to fall into lottery position, but I suppose a ton of injuries would do it too. They'll probably get sorta-healthier though (and thus it won't 'work'), plus in the meantime it's an even shittier way to lose.