Bulls fall to Bucks, stay 1 back of the Raptors

Well half of my dream prediction came through last night as the Cavs still played hard enough to beat the Raptors, but unfortunately, the Bulls didn't hold up their part of the bargain.   I've yet to check in with the cyberworld to see the reaction to the game, which I was at, but I'm sure people are jumping off cliffs.
The Bulls offense didn't show up, and while Kirk was the worst on the floor, Deng played terrible, and everyone was generally bad, the loss falls on Derrick Rose.   Rose is the guy the Bulls count on, and he couldn't get anything going.   He had a ton of assists, but they came amid six turnovers, poor shooting, and poor decision making and lack of assertiveness.   Let's face it, Derrick is the guy we count on out there, and he simply couldn't get much going.

On defense, Rose was simply terrible.   He let Luke Ridnour burn him play after play to create looks for himself or others during one stretch, and it was painful watching the team defensive concept get shredded because everyone was trying to compensate for Rose.   Fortunately for the Bulls, Milwaukee missed shot after shot after shot.   This game shouldn't have been close.  Milwaukee missed a ton of open shots all night, while the Bulls struggled to create decent looks all game and missed heavily contested shots, and the few open shots the Bulls got were long range jumpers that they simply couldn't connect on.

A large part of Rose's problem were the plays the Bulls were running.  I'm going to assume we can blame Del Negro for the play calling and that Rose wasn't improvising into the same screen and roll play every game.   At some point, when the Bucks successfully trapped Rose 100 times in a row, it was time to move away from that.   Put Rose in an isolation situation on Ridnour and make him defend.

I think that was the most appalling thing to watch in this game.   The five minute stretch were Luke Ridnour destroys Rose on the offensive end of the floor, and the Bulls can't take advantage of him defensively at all.   How can you have a matchup of Ridnour/Rose and lose it consistently?    You've got a big problem with Rose's defense and the play calling on Rose's offense if that happens. 

I've heaped a lot on Rose there.   He wasn't the worst on the floor.   That distinction falls on Kirk Hinrich who hit a few shots early, but then couldn't throw the ball in the ocean the rest of the night.   Luol Deng looked absolutely atrocious trying to score tonight, and the possessions where he used up around 15 seconds trying unsuccessfully back down Carlos Delfino made me want to scratch out my eyes.    In the end, let's face it, no one played well, but you need your star player to come through in games like this.  It didn't happen tonight.

And don't get me started on the out of bounds play with 14 seconds or so left where Brad Miller gets the ball and drives for a contested two, slips, falls, and gets called for a travel.   I don't know what the play call was in that situation, maybe VDN clarified it after the game, but how the ball is in Miller's hands inside the three point line is beyond me.  

In this situation, you need a three or an easy two.   You can't be working for a heavily defended two with one of your slowest players driving towards the rim.   Why did Miller even have the ball outside of being a spot up shooter?  

I will never understand the mentality of coaches who go for the two (unless it's an extraordinarily easy two due to the opponent overplaying the three point line) when they're down three with under 15 seconds to play.   You're betting on your ability to make two contested two point shots and have one of your opponents best free throw shooters split the free throws vs making one three point shot.

Also want to give a shout out to Justin, producer of the memo, for having his video played at the United Center last night.   Justin invited me to go to the game with him, so I appreciate the free ticket.   At half-time, they brought him over to hang out with Stacey King while they played the video on air.  

The only downside was the video wasn't EQ'd properly for the UC speaker system, and their sound engineer didn't bother to fix any levels while it was playing, so the base overpowered Stacey's voice making it so you couldn't hear the song at all ruining the effect for those who hadn't seen it.

Stacey had already seen the video though, and he had a good laugh with Justin over it.  Hopefully, they re-EQ it and play it again another time, because I think it had far more potential there to be a big hit. 

As for the Bulls?   Well they're still only one game back.   They still have a chance, but much like I expected, the Bulls broke my heart when i started to give it back to them.   If they beat Toronto in Toronto, then I think the rest of the season works out so that they wind up in, but make no mistake, this was a game they should have won.   Milwaukee didn't even play that well, the Bulls just played terrible, disorganized, and uninspired. 

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  • After seeing Justin's video so many times, I assumed there was some pitch editing on Stacey to match the music. I just now rewatched the original call for the first time in months, and the voices sound exactly the same. Really weird...

  • I still think Derrick Rose played HUNG-OVER or HIGH last night. He needs to control that.

    Everybody else played HEARTLESS and UNINSPIRED.

    That falls on the VDN, Forman and Paxson...all should be FIRED!!!

  • I didn't get to watch the game in Rockford, IL. It was on WGN but with cable it didn't come in, just on NBA TV. I can't believe we didn't beat a Bucks team without their big guy Bogut. From the get go the main focus should have been to contain Salmons defensively and get Rose and Deng off offensively. I was hoping the Bulls would bully the raindeers on their late push into the playoffs...how disappointing!!!! :-(

  • This disappointing thing is that it's a Skiles team. We should know what to expect, the Bucks play defense just like the Bulls used to. They'll make it tough to hit shots, but if you get past your defender they will hack you rather than give you the shot. The Bucks are first in the league in FTA given up per FGA.

    Yet we only had 11 FTA. How on earth can you not attack against a team that's lost their starting center and replaced him with a 37 year old? It's the sort of game where Rose should have had 11 FTA by himself.

    Skiles is some kind of genius, I don't know how he does it but he kept the best player on the court to 12 shots (the fewest he's had in a full game for 3 months) when he was missing his defensive anchor. Can we turn back time and instead of sacking him buyout any player who had a problem with him? ;)

    I do wonder if we'd do better if VDN didn't speak to the team during timeouts. His plays are laughably bad. It's been two years, I think we can rule out it being the players failing to execute what he draws up.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    "Yet we only had 11 FTA. How on earth can you not attack against a team that's lost their starting center and replaced him with a 37 year old? It's the sort of game where Rose should have had 11 FTA by himself"

    Amen!

    I have to agree with Doug's point about Rose's effort, or lack thereof. He seemed genuinely disinterested. Sure, the rest of the team partook in massive suckage, but he is supposedly the 'star'. Sure as heck didn't look the part last night.

  • This game was atrocious, there was no reason to lose, Milwaukee played horrible, they missed so many wide open shots, if the bulls had played their A game, this would have been a blow out win, but no. I think a bunch of guys from the streets could have been the bulls last night. It was that UGLY.

  • "Everyone just couldn't get in a groove. It was hard getting to the rim. They had great defense." Salmons, who led the Bucks with 26, said limiting Rose's penetration was the focal point. "That was everything," Salmons said. "It's not easy. But it worked."
    - KC Johnson, Tribune.com

    We held the Bucks to 79 points. You should win games when holding your opponent to 79 points. The Bucks plan on Rose can only work when your shooters aren't hitting shots. Rose was 5-12 from the field with 11 assists. Rose drew double teams. Rose wasn't the problem. Our 20 Million Dollar Men (Hinrich and Deng) shot 10-33, with many wide-open looks. Hinrich played 43 minutes, he shot 4-16, he had 0 FTA, 0 Assists, and 0 criticism from the beat writers. Deng was 6-17 with 3 Turnovers. They deserve the blame.

    One more thing...Deng was so bad defensively last night on Salmons in that 3rd quarter that Vinny made a decision to put Flip Murray on Salmons. Yep, Flip Murray. Salmons scored primarily in his usual way, going one on one.

  • I would agree this was probably the worst game of the season because of the situation compared to the other games.
    1. Everyone was well rested and healthy except maybe JJ.
    2. This was a must win and the team should have been motivated after Toronto lost
    3. Milwaukee was probably feeling out of sync without Bogut

    I agree with Doug. Rose was terrible and Deng was kind of trying hard atleast. It looked like they thought Milwaukee will roll over. I was surprised why Warrick got only 4 mins to play. He could have gone a little more inside than Noah

  • I don't know, I watched the game at home but from what I saw the Bucks really shut down the lanes making it very difficult for Rose. Then on offense they ran him through tons of screens which kinda wore him down.

    He got no help from either of his main scorers Hinrich and Deng. They are the ones who couldn't do their jobs.

  • I want the Bulls to make the playoffs I do, but I for one will be glad when this season comes to an end cause this team is obviously lacking focus and scoring ability. They need a shooting guard and a small forward that can not only score but get to the basket when he has to. If we can't get a post player that can score and we all know who I am talking about, and also the other free agents that will be out there that can help in the post, then I say go after some players that can score cause they can't keep depending on Derrick Rose to be the go to player to win the game. I look for the season to come to an end in Toronto this Sunday cause last night's game was a big game and the Bulls couldn't get it done, so why should anyone believe they get any thing done in Toronto. Oh and lets not forget the Cleveland game Thursday, a nationally televised game on TNT in Chicago. We all know what happened the last time the Bulls was on TNT playing against Miami at the United Center. I will be looking for close to the same results hopefully without the blowout but still a loss when Bulls know they can't afford that. Like I said though, I will be glad when the season is over cause this team has no urgency, no focus, no leadership, and most of all no heart. I mean they have core players that has either one a NCAA championship or played in a NCAA championship game. You would think that these players would know how to win, but a lot of players just can't adjust to the NBA game.I guess this is what this team is made up of.

  • Yeah last nights game was the dagger, I dont have high expectactions for the cleveland game, and to be honest even if they rest LBJ, I dont see the bulls standing a chance, they have choked several times this year, Nets, Warriors, Kings, Nuggets, Heat, and the Bucks. I read somewhere that the bucks won because Salmons knew the bulls sets. Really? the Bulls only have two set plays a high pick and roll, or a curl from an inside screen for a jump shot. Thats it, we're over 70 games into the season and there's only two plays Del Negro has shown us.

  • A friend ask me on monday my thoughts for the upcoming game with the bucs. I told him that I will not be surprised if we lose the game simply because Kirk and Loul are still playing for the bulls. These two guys are losers. They have been like this all the time (Gordon bail them out a lot). And management have failed to acknowledge this. Kirk and Loul need to GO!!. Bring winners!!

  • In reply to supercesto:

    David Thorpe of the Eastern Seaboard Programming Network described Hinrich as one of the best on-the-ball defenders in the league.

    When the Bulls have the ball, Hinrich finds a way of shutting them down; so I guess you could say that is good defense.

  • He and Scott Brooks are the only two canidates for coach of the year, no one should mention Mike Brown.

  • NEWS FLASH:

    I agree with Doug.

    Derrick Rose was terrible last night, on both ends of the floor.

    Whether he was HIGH or HUNG-OVER, he needs to correct that.

    It's inexcusable for him to play that bad.

  • This team is done! I forgot about the game Fri. in N.J. Bulls will be put out of their misery this weekend. Hello draft and free agency.

  • Have to agree, looks like we traded the wrong small forward, oh, right we played him as a shooting guard.

    Dung, and his contract will likely be the reason that we will not be able to compete for a championship, at least for the next 5 years that we are saving all that money by deferring his compensation.

  • The only thing stopping me from saying Skiles is the best in the NBA is he's never had a chance to show what he can do with a good team. He's certainly the best at doing the most with the least.

  • i didnt see the game last night, but i can believe it happened the way you say it did. rose has really improved on defense this year but he still has these games where he looks like the worst defensive player in the NBA. and like last night, it doesnt always show up in the opposing PGs numbers. the game the bulls lost at home against memphis comes to mind where rose was absolutely shredded by the PG and that led to all sorts of easy offense, even though Coney himself only had a .50 TS%.

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