What happened in the first quarter of tonight's Game 2 between the Bulls and Bucks could barely be characterized as basketball. Simply put, it was pure crap. Luckily, things improved greatly as the game went on, and even though the Bucks hung around and even led by three early in the fourth quarter, Jimmy Butler put his nuts all over Milwaukee in a 91-82 Game 2 victory.
Butler scored 14 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter (a new postseason career high after setting a new high in Game 1), finally finding the range from outside with three three-pointers in the frame. He struggled with his jumper early, but he was effective getting to the rim and making stuff happen with off-ball cuts. And when that jumper started falling, it was game over.
Pau Gasol struggled again offensively but had 16 boards and made some nice defensive plays down the stretch. Joakim Noah had 19 boards and Mike Dunleavy hit a few threes to help the Bulls get in a rhythm when they were struggling early. Derrick Rose struggled with his shot, but he hit a dagger late and had nine dimes.
If there's a negative, it's that Nikola Mirotic left the game late after a scrum with Zaza Pachulia. It's a knee injury and the sidelined report didn't sound good. Cross your fingers, because Mirotic was really effective playing at the 4.
All in all, Bulls are up 2-0 and already have more wins than last postseason. The Bucks are a really impressive defensive team, but they just don't have enough offense to make the Bulls pay when they go on their own droughts. Game 3 in Milwaukee on Thursday and full recap to come.