It wasn't particularly pretty. The Bucks managed to hang around all night as Brandon Jennings was on fire early and Jon "who?" Leuer kept them in it late. In the end, too much Derrick Rose in the paint, too much Boozer/Noah on the glass, and too many turnovers did the Bucks in.
Hard to take much from this game. Milwaukee's only "big" was Drew Gooden, and we know Poor Man's Boozer doesn't really count as a big. His 'Oley!' defense did nothing to slow down Rose or anyone else who found their way into the paint. Nor could he keep anyone off the offensive glass as the Bulls capitalized all night.
The Bulls aren't likely to face too many front courts as pathetic as the Bogut-less Bucks. To their credit, they took advantage, but I almost felt bad for Milwaukee.
Do the Bulls trust Butler to take on an expanded role next season?
We've gotten our first glimpses of Butler in competitive minutes the past couple of games, and so far he's looked a little timid. Defenses give him the Bogans treatment, and he doesn't really have a way to make them pay. He does play with a high motor, but he needs to improve in many areas before I'd count on him to play any role for a contending team next season.
This isn't to bag on Jimmy Butler. Most rookies have a long way to go, especially ones who've only played about 15 real minutes on the season. There's not much to judge yet, but he looks like he needs to find his way around the offense. The lockout hurts rookies in Butler's position more than almost any other player, because guys like Butler improve in practice. However, the Bulls simply haven't had many practices this season.
We'll see if Jimmy can impress by the end of the season, because if he plays well I expect the Bulls to waive the non guaranteed Brewer to stay out of the tax.
Nice work by the bigs
Joakim Noah is finally looking like the good Noah the past week or so. The Bulls are going to need him at his best against Miami on Sunday. He simply dominated the Bucks in the paint, and he's looked very active in all phrases lately.
Carlos Boozer rebounded from a poor showing against the Pacers to crush the Bucks. It was the type of matchup I felt he'd excel in, and he did.
Too big, too strong, too fast, too good
Derrick Rose performed as if they needed to make a highlight reel from just this game. He sliced through the lane over and over again as Jennings had no hope to stay in front of him, and Drew Gooden's help was about as pathetic as it gets.
Is the turf toe bothering Rose? No idea, but it sure didn't look like it tonight as he looked plenty explosive and destroyed the defense with his first step.
Time to get the Miami game face on
With Rip Hamilton a surprise scratch for this game, who knows what the Bulls will bring to Miami in terms of personnel. Hopefully the full team will be ready to go, but even if so, Deng, Rip, Gibson, and Rose would all be playing with some type of nagging injury.
Chicago will need to find a way to improve considerably over the level of play they had against the Pacers or Bucks tonight in order to hang around with Miami and steal a game in South Beach.