Bucks beat Bulls - 98 to 86

Some Bucks fans were no doubt cheated out of Big Macs, Tacos, or whatever promo they've got running there and are now thinking "Why couldn't we have hit one more shot?".

That said, here's how the team looked this game player by player:
We'll start with the starting lineup. 

Kirk Hinrich - He actually put in a decent night.  Overdribbled here and there, but he had a few nice passes that weren't converted, didn't turn the ball over, and scored 13 points on 9 possessions which made him perhaps the only reasonably efficient offensive player all night.  It was fun watching him matched up on Brandon Jennings a couple times where he did a nice job staying in front of him and chasing him around screens.

John Salmons - Some nights you just don't have it.  This was one of those nights.  He looked really forced everytime he tried to score offensively.   He struggled handling the ball, had silly turnovers, and just couldn't buy a bucket. 

Luol Deng - See John Salmons except he managed to not turn the ball over.  Still, he couldn't throw the ball in the ocean for the most part.  He did have one nice post up jumper that he hit on, but it was a tough night for Deng.  His explosion still looked limited as well.

Taj Gibson - The more I see of Gibson, the more I'm impressed with his offensive repertoire.   The only thing he really needs to learn to do is catch the ball.  He had another two passes just fly through his hands today costing him another dunk.   However, he's crafty around the basket, has a better jumper than I expected, and might actually be the most capable scoring big man on the roster.

Despite displaying some nifty offensive moves, he was plagued by silly mistakes on offense, stupid fouls, and missed assignments/poor rotations on defense.  You were pulling your hair out about him one minute and cheering the next.   The mistakes seem like they're almost all based on experience though, and overall, it seems like the Bulls have found a keeper in Gibson.

Joakim Noah - Joakim rebounded the ball, with a number of tough ones, but otherwise had a quiet night where he played sparingly.   He struggled early on, but played better as the game went on.  Still not a special night for Noah by any stretch.

The Bench:
James Johnson had a great game until you look at the turnovers.  Most of them were silly mistakes that he'll improve upon with experience: two traveling violations, a charge, an attempt to hit Noah on a 60 foot lob pass, maybe an illegal screen in there too, I forgot.

The turnovers were clearly an issue, but otherwise, he looked solid attacking the basket, he flashed his ball handling skills many times in the game and drew plenty of fouls.  He also was surprisingly effective on the glass and moved the ball well too.   He made some very nice decisions passing the ball and showed great natural instincts for the game throughout.

Pargo had a similar game to Johnson except with his level of experience it's much harder to overlook the silly turnovers.   At time she got into modes where he forced the issue ridiculously hard, but he also had moments where he showed nice court vision.   He did shoot well, and had some shots in the lane today (what do you think of that Mark?).

Derrick Byars had another solid game.   There were some mistakes, and he had a few really bad defensive moments, but most of the time he did something bad and angered you, he'd do something good immediately after to redeem himself.   He wasn't quite as good as early efforts but still had a decent game.

Miller just went out and did his veteran thing for a few minutes seeming relatively non-descript in the game.

Hunter made some absolutely atrocious plays, but completely redeemed himself by throwing the ball off a defenders leg to force a kick with a second left on the shot clock on an inbounds pass with 30 seconds left in the game.   I don't know why, but the absurdity of the moment was the highlight of the game for me.

The game clearly is over, but Hunter goes out and pulls a veteran trick anyway to get the Bulls that extra last possession. 

Chris Richard just doesn't belong in the league.   He might hang out until the end of preseason just to fill up some minutes though, especially if the Bulls have some various injuries though they could force Jerome James to try to play those minutes and if he can't try to convince him to medically retire to make his contract more attractive.

Miscellaneous  Notes:
Brandon Jennings started out nice for the bucks until he decided to start building a house miday through the game. 

The other most interesting thing to me was the refs.  This game was putridly officiated, and that mainly helped the Bulls. There is a part of me that hopes these three refs work all Bulls games this year, but there's another part screaming ofr the real refs back.

This one was bad. 

All in all, a preseason loss was inevitable.   This one was tough to watch as we should have lost by even more if not for a Chicago friendly whistle. 

Also, give some credit to Scott Skiles.   He had the Bucks playing some fierce defense at the start of the game.   I miss that.



Leave a comment
  • Nice game updates and recap. Let me ask you a question who is better at catching the ball Taj or Noah as rookie? Also with Byars cant we keep him some way? cant we do something with Jerome? cant we say he is not fit thus his contract should be void?

  • It's all good....we'll crush them in the real season......

  • that was a preseason game

  • Miller bad? yeah his offense wasn't that great but he must have done something different in the off season. what i saw, he looked alot better defensively. Quicker. He some how gained quickness and explosiveness. yeah... i said that about Brad Miller. He's always somehow gotten rebounds, but being a defensive presence in his old age is not something he's know for.

    Also. What about the reffing, Doug? Wheres the article on how the replacement refs will effect the nba this year? And more importantly, how it will affect Rose this year? I thought the best thing about Bulls making the playoffs last year was for Rose's recognition, thus finally getting the calls he deserves.

  • Doug,

    Is it me, or does this team tend to take nights off? They did it last year against Toronto with the 6th seed on the line. They did it in Game 3 vs. the Celtics with the series tied at one. They did it last night after coming off an emotional win in London. I don't want to over-react, but I'm a bit concerned by the lack of professionalism and preparedness this team shows at times.

    Isn't it important to establish good work habits? The veteran playes (Deng, Salmons, Miller, Noah and Hinrich...early on), where nothing short of PATHETIC last night. They showed no passon and energy at the start of the 1st quarter and 3rd quarter. As a fan, that's unacceptable and disappointing.

    Also, Johnson, Pargo and Gibson need to learn how to make the SIMPLE FUNDAMENTAL PLAY. They should take a page out of Derrick Byar's playbook.

  • Doug,

    In all honesty that sounds like an excuse. Even VDN didn't seem happy with their effort and preparation, at least according to his post-game comments. He seems to agree with me. They are professionals and get paid to play, not just go through the motions.

    If they were flat and having a hangover from the London trip, I would have liked to seen VDN pull the veterans earlier and give the rookies some extended minutes. That might have produced a better game, not too mention a strong message about being prepared to play.

Leave a comment