It wasn't a great performance by the Chicago Bulls, but they did just enough to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 100-90 at the United Center.
Despite the Bulls getting beat on the glass and turning the ball over 18 times, Chicago was able to beat Milwaukee in large part thanks to their offense. An offense that was well efficient tonight. The Bulls shot 50% from the field and had six players score over double figures on the night, led by the 22 of Derrick Rose.
The only non-efficient shooter the Bulls had tonight was Pau Gasol who shot 28.6% (4-14) from the field despite getting a triple double. But even with Gasol's shooting, the Bulls offense was still playing well. They were moving the ball well and were great in transition. It's easier making shots with better ball movement.
We saw this against Houston but it's more impressive that they did this for not only two straight games, but without Jimmy Butler. Chicago had 35 assists, a season high, on 39 made shots. Gasol was the main man dishing the ball, especially in the first half. Gasol found himself at the top of the key multiple times and found backcutting Bulls time after time.
Credit should also be given to Hoiberg for sticking with the offensive lineups that worked as he has seemed to shorten his rotations in the past few games. Hoiberg is using a mostly eight man rotation with a couple of players moving in due to injury. While it may also mean more decreased minutes for Bobby Portis, let's look at the positives and think about that meaning less minutes for Tony Snell as well. Justin Holiday getting 16 minutes was interesting to see, maybe he may use Holiday more instead of Brooks going down the stretch. Less guys playing may mean more minutes and an increased chance of getting injured, but it has worked for two games so let's see how far this goes.
Overall it was a good night for the Chicago offense as they shot well from the field, got contributions from everyone, and bailed out the defense multiple times. This was one of the few times that we saw the Bulls offense save it's defense, something we thought we see more of when Fred Hoiberg took over Chicago.
Two other takeaways
2. Chicago got pounded on the boards
Even without John Henson, the Bucks still out rebounded the Bulls. The Bucks beat the Bulls on the glass 54-49 with Greg Monroe grabbing 14 boards for Milwaukee. It was just a bad night for the Bulls on the glass. With Milwaukee playing Jabari Parker against Taj Gibson, Chicago should have had the advantage inside. But it wasn't the case as the Bucks out rebounded the Bulls and owned the offensive glass as well. But the Bucks couldn't cash in as they scored only 5 points off of 18 offensive rebounds.
Pau's defensive rebounding is still a major problem pic.twitter.com/yODs8CLn08— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) March 8, 2016
3. Great guard play from Chicago
Derrick Rose scoring 22 points tonight was great. Having E'Twaun Moore score 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting was even better. With Jimmy Butler out again, Moore was once again placed in the starting lineup and he played well once again. Moore is proving to be a valuable player for Chicago once again. His ability to play solid man to man defense and add in the occasional double digit offensive performance, something we are seeing more now, is making him a great candidate for good minutes once Butler gets back to full health (fingers crossed on that one). Moore's play is going to make him a wanted man in free agency this summer and he will get paid. The question is that if Chicago wants to re-sign Moore given the fact that he will be making a whole lot more money. But that's in a few months, let's enjoy how he's been doing a solid job for Chicago.