In a sloppy rematch of last year's first round playoff matchup, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 105-95.
Coach Fred Hoiberg elected to lean on his backcourt reserves, with Doug McDermott, Tony Snell, and E'Twaun Moore leading the team in minutes. After a slow start, McDermott rebounded to co-lead the team in scoring with 23 points on 8-19 shooting.
Tonight's game was marred with fouls, as both teams combined for an incredible 69 total free throw attempts. The Bulls trailed through the first two quarters, but exploded with a 40 point 3rd quarter by getting into the bonus early. Chicago needed to rely on the charity stripe, shooting a putrid 33% overall from the field. The Bulls recovered from a slow start and finished a respectable 33% from the 3 point line.
Of note was Jimmy Butler's increased focus on playmaking. Butler looked adept at breaking down the defense to find open shooters, finishing the game with a team high 6 assists. He also matched McDermott's 23 points on an efficient 7-12 shooting night from the field, and a team high 12 free throw attempts.
Although he failed to score a field goal, Joakim Noah rediscovered his offensive rebounding touch, co-leading the team with 7 offensive boards and drawing several loose ball fouls down low. Nikola Mirotic continued his trend of poor 3 point shooting (1-5), but finished with a nice line of 18 points and 8 rebounds. Bobby Portis had an energy filled debut with some nice defensive plays, along with 14 total rebounds and a +20 plus minus rating.
Bulls fans should be pleased with the outcome of tonight's game. However, fans hoping to see the movement and uptempo pace promised from Hoiberg's offense were likely disappointed by a game dominated by fouling and free throws. Coach Hoiberg will bring his undefeated record to Denver for the Bulls' second preseason game on Thursday.