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Bulls at Bucks at 7:30 on WGN

Bulls at Bucks at 7:30 on WGN

It'd be easy to write off the Bucks after a slow start, however, they've won six of their last nine and in that grouping have two wins over Miami and one over the Lakers. They're not just entering a hot streak against lousy competition. These Bucks can play a frustrating style of defense, particularly towards teams that want to score in the paint.

Milwaukee has also proven to be a tough out at home where they're 7-2 with a win over the Spurs in addition to the ones over Miami and LA mentioned above.

On the injury front, Luol Deng is a game time decision while Hamilton is out.

Derrick Rose time

The Milwaukee Bucks may jam the paint, but they have no shot blockers and Drew Gooden is perhaps the worst defensive helping PF in the NBA [yeah, even worse than Boozer]. Rose will need to simply be cognizant with his body control to avoid charges when slashing through the Bucks defense.

Jennings will again try to take away the middle of the paint and force Rose to his left, but last game, Rose went left and cut back inside to find the middle of the paint easily enough that it simply didn't matter.

Expect plenty more of the same tonight. As long as Rose stays aggressive, he'll have a big night.

Boozer needs to teach poor man's Boozer a lessen

I expect Boozer to have a big game. The question is can he stop poor-man's Boozer from having a big game as well? Drew Gooden's the type of player who can put up big scoring nights, particularly against poor defensive players. He scored 23 in the last matchup with 15 rebounds vs Boozer's 20/13.

Both players rebound well, feast off poor defenses, and can't defend an inanimate object. The Bulls need Carlos Boozer to show poor man's Boozer what's what tonight.

I expect 20+ points and 50%+ shooting from Carlos tonight, but he needs to make a more concerted effort from stopping Gooden from doing the same.

Let Jennings fire away from the periemter

Jennings has become a decent shooter, and he'll drill some threes, but while he's sitting their in isolation throwing out bombs the offense as a whole becomes very stagnant and the rest of the team becomes uninvolved. The Bucks swing more momentum when Jennings starts getting into the paint and setting up others and hitting layups.

Chicago should aim to keep him on the outside and avoid letting him get his teammates going. The Bucks team is set up similarly to the Bulls with Jennings having a Rose-like responsibility to carry their entire offense. If the Bulls can force him into taking too many shots and not moving the ball, then they should have little problem dispatching Milwaukee.

Jennings may have a Rose-like responsibility, but he doesn't have Rose-like talent to consistently pull it off and lead his team to a good record while taking it on.

Gimmie some of that hot sauce

The Bucks love to leave four guys sitting in the paint in order to stop teams from getting easy shots, and Kyle Korver will be key in forcing them to abandon this philosophy by either hitting shots or just threatening to hit shots.

If Kyle Korver is on, and the Bulls find him for some open threes, the Bucks defensive system will start to fall apart.

Go get the win

The Bulls barely beat New York after losing several games against quality competition. They need to put their foot down on these lesser teams. Hopefully Luol Deng will return to give them a lift, but they're capable of beating this Bucks team either way.

Filed under: Game Threads

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  • "can't defend an inanimate object", I can' t believe I never thought of that one.

    For the record, based on my calculations or observations, in the last game against the Bucks while "the Escort" had 20 &13 as you mentioned, in the 4rth quarter alone he allowed 22 points(11 each to Jon Luer and Drew Gooden).

    Luer and Gooden each scored 13 points in the 4rth. "the escort" was on Luer for the first half of the quarter when he scored 11 of those points. At that point Thibs switched Noah from Gooden(2 points at that point) to Luer. From that point forward Luer scored 2 points while Gooden, now covered by "the escort" scored 11.

    So, while Gooden may indeed be Boozer lite, he is not actually a worse defender than "the escort". During his year or so with the Bulls, I don't recall him driving me crazy anywhere near as much as "the escort" does. My biggest gripe with him, was that Del Bimbo kept playing him at center, stealing minutes that belonged to a developing Noah.

    Well, hopefully, the Bulls can win 2 games in a row for the first time in the last 8 games.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I've heard Boozer described as unable to defend a dead tree stump.

    I think Gooden is both better and worse than Boozer. Gooden is dumb as a box of rocks, so his anticipation might be worse. But he's also more athletic, so at least he's not quite so cemented to the spot as players roll right by him.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    What damning statistics!
    Those Leuer and Gooden numbers are amazing. Frightful, but amazing!

    I'm thinking in the off-season Bulls may look into dealing Boozer back to the Western Conference where he belongs.

  • As an aside, I really would like to see Monte Ellis and Rose playing together. I was completely against this at first but after watching GS play this year I think they could play together well. It prevents Rose from getting trapped which would be a big help. And if the Warriors fall out of the playoffs, we might be able to get him for a big and one of Brewer/Korver/CJ. The only way that it works is us not giving up Deng. We will really need him to guard against a big 2 or a really good 3. I know its a pipedream but I think it would be what the bulls need to become elite.

    Obviously I think Howard should be the primary target but if that cant happen I would be happy with Monte.

  • In reply to do53:

    I've been an Ellis guys since back in the days when I was trying to get rid of Ben Gordon.

    However, Mark Jackson(Ellis's new coach) seems to genuinely value Ellis, in fact I just saw an interview with Jackson stumping for Ellis to make the AllStar game.

    Ellis's scoring is down a bit this year, 21-22 ppg, but he is leading the league in assists by 2 guards at 6.7 which is a very high number.

    Despite the size issues, I would still love to see Ellis paired with Rose, because Ellis is a natural born scorer who besides just gunning from the perimeter, can really put the ball on the floor and create for himself in the lane or at the rim.

    I just don't think that he is particularly available right now.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    He's also shooting 42% from the field and 25% from beyond the arc on 4.5 attempts. Not a fan of having two 6'-3" gaurds either. Especially consider Ellis defensive capabilities.

  • Ellis would be an interesting combo guard next to Rose but if the Bulls ever traded for him it would be for longterm salary since JR probably doesn't want to go deep into the tax. Anyway to get a player of that caliber, you would have to give up Noah or Deng. I don't see the Bulls making that move. Like Doug said before, they'll probably recycle the SG position with veterans.......what I would love is if we can get our hands on Ray Allen who is a free agent this summer and if he would play for a cap friendly price. That would be AWESOME scenario when it comes to the SG situation, his 3 point marksmanship would open up the floor for everyone.

  • I'll be at the bradley center tonight to watch rose vs jennings, should be fun.

  • This game has a few important things to watch:
    1. If Deng comes back, we need to see how he feels by tomorrow or the next game.
    2. Will Butler play a bigger role now that Thibs probably saw enough of Brewer's struggles.
    3. Will Boozer show up for his usual quota of dominating scrub PFs.

  • With Hamilton out, the 5 guys that Thibs had on the court to finish the first quarter, would be my starting lineup.

    Rose, Korver, Deng, Gibson and Noah. To me that is the Bulls best balanced five man combination.

  • How did this Bucks team beat the Heat? They're just giving the Bulls shooting practice.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    How did the heat blow out the sixers?

    anyway brandon jennings got into early foul trouble.

  • Did Butler just play the entire second quarter(plus), and he looked damn good doing it. Great move by Thibs because Brewer was the one Bull(besides "the escort" of course) who didn't look ready to go in the first quarter. I really don't like him(Brewer) as a starter.

    Bulls better not get complacent during halftime, there is no way they can shoot as well as they did in the first half for the rest of the game, especially from 3. Stomp them in the 3rd, bench mob in the 4rth.

  • What damning statistics!
    Those 4th quarter Leuer and Gooden numbers are amazing. Frightful, but amazing!

    I'm thinking in the off-season Bulls may look into dealing Boozer back to the Western Conference where he belongs.

  • One thing I noticed last night is that Luol Deng seemed much fresher and more athletic than he seemed the last few games before he got hurt. Really stepping into those three-pointers nicely, moving with and without the ball really well - my point is, that those of us who have said that Thibs has been overusing Deng, well, based on how good he looked last night - I think we've got a point!

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    I noticed that myself. Deng looked very loose and free, very spry.

    Fatigue will slow down a player. But its subtle and gradual. We won't notice it until something dramatic like missing 7 games which gave Luol an extended rest.

    It is my hope that Thibs reduces Deng to 35 minutes and give more time to Jimmy Butler and Korver. Both could use more minutes to stay in sync. And Deng could use the rest.

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