In a game missing just about everyone from both sides, the Milwaukee Bucks managed to prevail, or the Bulls managed to tank harder. Depends on your view.
Chicago was without four of its five starters [Rose, Butler, Deng, and Noah] while Milwaukee was missing Larry Sanders, Luke Ridnour, Caron Butler, Gary Neal, Carlos Delfino, and ZaZa Puchlia.
Predictably, the game became an offensive struggle in which neither team could score.
Mike Dunleavy tried to single handedly win the game for the Bulls, scoring 24 on 9/15 shooting. However, Captain clank managed to out maneuver him by putting on a Marquis Teague-esque shooting display and going 0-10 from the field. Marquis Teague also turned in a Teague-like performance by going 1-7. When you get 1-17 shooting and a combined three points from your PGs, it's going to be a tough night.
Taj Gibson had a rare poor game with six turnovers to complement what would have otherwise been nice shooting at 5/9 from the field while Boozer and Snell chipped in the majority of the remainder of the Bulls points but on relatively inefficient performances.
So what's up with the Bulls injuries?
Joakim Noah will travel to NY, a sign that he has a chance to play. His injury was described as "an injury to his thigh or above the knee" for whatever that means. He had participated in shoot around and Monday's practice before being a late scratch.
Deng sounded like his injury was minor on Saturday, but he wasn't ready to go today despite two days rest, and Butler was said to be close a week ago which means my definition of close doesn't match Tom Thibodeau's definition of close because I'd think a week is enough to go from close to playing.
For fans of the "get a draft pick" theory, the injuries aren't necessarily a negative, especially as the Bulls cruise through this stretch of laughing stock teams. While the Bulls may now sit amongst them, their future at least has the hint of light at the end of the tunnel.
You don't think the Bulls can tank under Thibodeau?
They've now lost games to the Bucks and Jazz, the two worst teams in the NBA. Chicago clearly doesn't have enough to win. Not enough talent, not enough desire, not enough anything. One year of fighting back from a Rose injury with hope they'd get their star back for the playoffs and roll was fine.
A second year looked like too big mental hurdle even before the recent injuries to Deng/Noah decimated the team. Take your time guys.
The Bulls presently sit in eighth, claiming the last playoff spot, but the Nets, Cavs, and Raptors are all right there. The Bulls trajectory over the past 10 games (2-8) is on par with the worst tanking teams in the NBA, and if Chicago continued to play at this pace [as unlikely as that is], they would be in line for a top three draft position on lottery night.
Snell continues to show signs, Teague continues not to
I can see why the Bulls wanted to send Marquis Teague to the D-League. At this point, I can't imagine any team would even take him with a trade exception as a flier for the future. He's young, still has legit NBA speed, but everything else is way below par for the NBA.
Tony Snell doesn't look like a stud, but he continues to show signs he's a legit rotation player. His three ball wasn't falling last night, but he did okay at everything else and he's shot well enough this season to expect with a couple more years in the league he'll become a very solid long range shooter.
Bulls looking at D.J. Augustin?
Reports are that the Bulls will pick up D.J. Augustin after he clears waivers, likely to replace Mike James. Augustin probably gives the team quite a bit more than Teague. He's more in the Nate Robinson, C.J. Watson class in that he can at least create bad shots and knock down threes while lacking the size, consistency or decision making to really play well.
Personally, I'd rather ride Marquis Teague into the ground, the move shows the Bulls are still trying to win which is a tact I disagree with. The problem in the East is that the Bulls will never get far enough out of playoff contention that they'll give up and make the right decision to play for ping pong balls.