There are series' that make fans erupt with cries of never wanting it to end. That we can watch these two teams play forever.
The Bulls lost Game 4 in Milwaukee, largely due to: 28 team turnovers, including eight by Derrick Rose; Joakim Noah's play creating 5-on-4 deficits; O.J. Mayo cashing in a nearly expiring cheat card; Nikola Mirotic clearly in a funk after missing Game 3; and Pau Gasol remaining a non-factor.
On the brighter side, we get to watch this postmodern representation of the 2015 Milwaukee Bucks again:
Going into Game 5 with a 3-1 lead, the Bulls will be at full strength, aiming to closeout the series at the United Center on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. CST. The game will be featured on TNT, as well as shown on CSN Chicago.
The Bucks have been fighting hard and have used their length to disrupt the Bulls offense, but are still not quick enough to close out on passes to shooters on the weak side and not big enough to pound inside for easy buckets. The Bulls have been among the best in the NBA during the Tom Thibodeau era at moving shooters off of the three-point line and forcing inefficient long-twos, and the Bucks were among the worst this season at taking too many long-twos, and the trend has continued:
The lack of three-point volume is amplifying the Bucks' sub-.400 FG% to keep their points per possession so low that it is difficult to picture them breaking 95 points. It boggles the mind to see the Bulls shoot an amazing .559 eFG% in Game 4 to only score 90. Weirder that the Bucks only scored 92 in the Game 4 win where the Bulls turned it over so often to give away an extraordinary amount of bonus possessions. This all goes hand-in-hand to reflect the Bucks' strength at forcing turnovers, but also their inability to shoot well:
|Series Four Factors via Basketball-Reference.com|
The Bulls are really dominating every angle of this series, except turnovers, and cheers to Milwaukee for not letting those go to waste, overwhelmingly leading all teams in the playoffs with 24.0 points off of turnovers per game, but the only team in the top six losing their series.
|PPG off TOs|
Despite another rough start for Rose, he continues to be screaming, "I'm back!" in this series and Jimmy Butler is making his mark as the Bulls' most reliable asset:
And don't sleep on Mike Dunleavy, Jr, who has been a pleasant surprise on defense, while shooting the a lights-out .717 TS% in 33 minutes per game in this series. Unfortunately, Gasol is shooting just under 41% and the Bulls are a minus-11 per 100 possessions when Noah is on the floor.
What is most disappointing depressing about this series has been the Good Noah-Bad Noah dichotomy. There really is no telling whether the Bulls are led by the ferocious 19 rebounds at a 37.8% defensive rate from Game 2 or becomes a full court liability to only log five in 30 Game 5 minutes. He is troubling not healthy enough to consistently contribute his potential, but not ailing enough to scratch from the lineup.
The clock is ticking on Milwaukee's season and the inevitable second-round matchup between the Bulls and Cavaliers. A series looking less ominous with Kevin Love receiving a dislocated shoulder that could sideline him for at least two weeks and a suspension for J.R. Smith being a tool looming on the horizon.
BaB missed out on broom fun on Saturday; hopefully, tonight, we can break out the GIFs.
Stats via NBA.com, unless otherwise noted.