Bulls vs Bucks game preview

Bulls vs Bucks game preview
The Bulls have no choice this summer but to completely turn this team over to All-Star SG Jimmy Bulter.

The Bulls will try to win their second consecutive game tonight when they host the Bucks at 7 PM CT (WPWR-TV, NBA League Pass).

The Bulls snapped a 4-game losing streak on Saturday when they beat the Rockets in a game that saw Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic return from injury. The win moved the Bulls back into the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race with 21 games left in the regular season.

Tonight's game is the third in the season series, with each team winning on its home floor in the first two games. The Bulls took the first game of the series, 117-106. Three Chicago players had double-doubles: Taj Gibson (11 pts/14 reb), Pau Gasol (26 pts/11 reb) and Jimmy Butler (32 pts/10 ast), while all starters on both teams scored in double figures. The Bucks never led or tied during the game. The Bulls were a perfect 20-of-20 from the free throw line, while the Bucks made 8-of-14 free throw attempts.

The Bulls lost the second game in Milwaukee, despite a 30-point, 8-rebound, 6-assist effort from Jimmy Butler. The Bulls outrebounded the Bucks 57-40, and made 12 3-pointers to Milwaukee’s three, but the Bucks hit 43-of-93 shots from the field compared to the Bulls’ 35-of-85. Milwaukee held a 62-32 advantage in points in the paint. Both Giannis Antetokounmpo (29 pts/10 reb) and Greg Monroe (17 pts/12 reb) recorded double-doubles for the Bucks.

BULLS NOTES:

35-year-old Pau Gasol recorded his 35th double-double of the season with 28 points, 17 rebounds and six assists vs. Houston on March 5, which is third-most in the East and sixth-most in the NBA. The average age of the six players who have more double-doubles than him this year (Drummond, Westbrook, Cousins, Jordan and Wall) is 24.8 years old.

The Bulls have lost 143 games due to injury or illness this season. Last year, they missed 148 total.

The Bulls have used 16 different starting lineups this season, with six games being the longest streak of using the same one (twice, Nov. 24 to Dec.7 and Jan. 15 to Jan. 25).

Chicago’s starters accounted for 85 of the team’s 108 points in Saturday’s win over Houston. The starters also combined for a plus-minus of plus-76.

The Bulls tallied 24 fast break points against the Rockets. In the previous five games, Chicago had averaged 8.2 fast break points.

The Bulls handed out 28 assists in Saturday’s win. Over their last five victories, the Bulls are averaging 28.4 assists per game.

The Bulls connected on 27-of-34 attempts from the charity stripe on Saturday. The Bulls have made 25 or more free throws five times this season.

On Saturday, Pau Gasol led all Bulls in points (28) and rebounds (17) along with six assists. Gasol is the only player in the NBA this season to log multiple games with at least 25 points, 15 rebounds and five assists.

Jimmy Butler returned on Saturday after missing the previous 11 games due to a left knee strain. Butler finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, good for his seventh double-double of the season. The most double-doubles he has had in a season before this year was five, in 2013-14.

Derrick Rose surpassed Chris Duhon for ninth place on the team’s all-time 3-pointers made list on Saturday. Rose (338 treys) is 13 away from tying Toni Kukoc for eighth.

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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. The same year (1980), as a student assistant at Seeger Memorial High School in West Lebanon, IN, he was one of the first in the world to use, study and implement analytics in basketball. He attended Daytona State College and Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround: The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters), where he was fortunate enough to work with many rising stars, including NFL Network's Dan Hellie, Redskins coach Jay Gruden, Magic radio and TV personality Dante Marchitelli, and WSB-TV (Atlanta) Sports Director Zach Klein. In addition to running the Bullsville blog and officiating basketball, baseball and football for the KHSAA, he is also a bass player and vocalist who writes and produces music in his spare time (you may remember his internet hit "I Hate Eddy Curry"). He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. He's seen Primus 9 times and thinks Les Claypool walks on water. By far his greatest accomplishment is being a father of three and grandfather of one.

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