Bulls beat Milwaukee 83-81 in defense-fest.

This game was a tale of two quarters really.   The first quarter where the Bulls offense was absolutely atrocious, and the 3rd quarter where the Bulls took a huge chunk of Milwaukee's lead away from them.

All in all, this game was an excellent representation about my fears with the Bulls.  The offense is just going to be rough while the defense can be excellent.   From the end of the 1st quarter through the 3/4ths of the way through the fourth quarter the Bulls defense was absolutely dominant not allowing anything and contesting everything.   However, over that time, the Bulls still struggled considerably for a large portion because the offense was so bad.  

The Bulls held the Bucks to sub 40% shooting, and the Bucks only hit four three point shots and five free throws.   If you have that kind of defensive performance you should win by 20+ points fairly easily.   That's a team that got it's offense smeared.
First, give some props to Luol Deng.   For a guy who's basically been burned at the stake by Bulls fans all summer long, Luol has managed to be the best player for the Bulls this season.  He's been the best player in three of their four games, and the one he wasn't was a 28 point loss.

Any questions left about Luol's health?   Looked pretty strong when he grabbed that offensive board and then threw Bogut it out of the way to score.   Deng definitely looks explosive out there, and is playing at a high level.

Derrick Rose had an up and down night.  He struggled early, but when the game was close, Derrick came in and hit three shots in close proximity to give the Bulls a comfortable lead.  He had a terrible turnover and consecutive plays of bad defense when the Bucks threatened at the end, but Derrick got the big block on Jennings on what should have clinched the game until Noah missed two free throws.

If you aren't giving the game ball to Luol Deng, throw some credit Jannero Pargo's way.  I made the comment right before Pargo checked in that it was the perfect time to throw Pargo in the game.  It was a game that he could turn around for the Bulls or shoot them out of.   The team seemed energized when Pargo entered and hit a three.   He missed a three, but go this own board and hit a two a few plays later.

All in all, Pargo had 10 points in 15 minutes on four of five shooting from the field, and he gave the Bulls some offense at a point where they were really struggling to find it.   The whole team seemed to come around and feed off his energy when he came in.   Pargo might be crap in the next two or three games, but you can add one win to the Bulls season where Pargo was absolutely instrumental in making it happen.   When a game looks hopeless, bring in Pargo, and he can shoot you out or shoot you in.   Today, he shot the Bulls back in. 

Joakim Noah didn't play particularly well early and never got it going offensively, but closing out the game he had a big dunk on a pick and roll, a couple of blocks, and a bunch of boards.   If it weren't for the two missed free throws at the end, it would have been a great clutch performance.

John Salmons continued to struggle.  He's the anti-Deng this season where he's only had one decent game on the year and struggled in three games.  He's now passing up wide open three point looks to dribble into pull up contested shots instead.  Salmons looks like his confidence is lacking and needs to shoot his way through it.

Brad Miller had a solid game.  He used his slo-mo pump fake to great effect all game long.   He was a bit cold from the free throw line, but the team played excellently with him the floor.  He used some nice veteran acting to draw some fouls, played solid defense, and had some quality passes as well. 

Kirk Hinrich shot the ball horribly, and forced up a number of shots.  In all fairness, he most of his forces were at a time when the whole team was playing like crap on offense, and someone had to force the issue.   Still his defense helped control the game considerably.

Taj Gibson was more or less a train wreck on the night.   He had multiple offensive fouls (though at least one was awfully dicey), and was terrible boxing out and defensively.  He contributed little on offense as well, and let's just hope that Tyrus isn't out for a few weeks with swine flu or else there's trouble.

Overall, the Bulls are 2-2 on the season.   Out of three tough games to open the season and one "easy" game that didn't end up being too easy, the Bulls are probably a game ahead of where we realistically expected them to be at this point.   The defense looks outstanding, the offense looks like it's going to need a whole lot of help.

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  • What an ugly win but I will take it. That first half reminded me of the the 99-00 Bulls. John recklessly going to the hoops and throwing up wild shots, Brad having the ball in his hand with the shot clock running down, turnovers etc. Deng was amazing and Pargo did a great job off the bench. Nice to see Rose wake up in the 4th, he made his mistakes but he did good thinks like the pass to Noah and the two jump shots and the block.

  • Doug we used 8 guys with Tyrus out, can you shed some light on James Johnson? what the hell? your telling me we couldnt even give hims 5 minutes in that debacle of a first half at the 4 instead of Taj? We really dont know how to develop guys we draft do we? sorry but that pissed me off.

  • We need trade Salmons fast. Any takers? Someone who can shoot the 3 would be nice

  • I want salmons to opt out at the end of the year but i wouldnt trade him.

  • Salmons probably opt in since the best he'll probably do is 15 ppg. Use him + JJ to get good sg

  • everyone wants salmons opt out. he's a good player, but he's owed 7 million. in order to get flexibility we need him to opt out.

  • I won't apologize for giving Deng a hard time this summer. Happy he's playing well and I know you can 't dog a guy who gets hurt but at the end of the day it's about producing and a 71 million dollar investment. All I can say is so far after 4 games.. so good. Now do it against the big boys and now we're talking.

  • Deng was tough last night. I loved when he shoved Bogat out of the way. Here's to hoping he continues the good play.

    As for Rose I've been unimpressed thus far, but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he isn't 100 percent. After seeing those two dunks at the end last night, you can see the burst isn't, there he usually likes to throw those down.
    We'll see though, I think given a few more games he'll be fine. It was nice to see him put up 10 points in the fourth though.

    Last night was one of those Pargo games and the reason the Bulls signed him. We'll probably see that a handful of times in the future, but I guess we all know that.

  • Luol and VDN

    Luol is the best news so far this season. Here's hoping it lasts (I think it will).

    Also, if a team is playing better defense, the head coach needs some props also. VDN is doing something right so far this season.

    If the Bulls could finish .500 during their first 10 games, that would be better than most Scott Skiles Chicago Bulls teams.

  • The Bulls are the new "Jeckle and Hyde" squad.

  • Here's an interesting trade idea.

    To Bulls: Marcus Camby, Kelenna Azubuike and Acie Law
    To Clippers: Luol Deng (they just demoted Al Thornton)
    To Warriors: Tyrus Thomas (they could move Anthony Randolph to SF)

    The Bulls could start Azubuike at SG, move Salmons back to SF and let Hinrich, Pargo and Johnson back those guys up. Plus, Camby adds more veteran leadership to the team and the contracts are good.

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