The Bucks lost in a blowout to the Chicago Bulls last night, remaining winless this preseason with a record of 0 – 5. Chicago got out to a hot start, leading 20 – 4 with six minutes left in the first quarter, and never looked back. It was a foul filled exhibition in which both teams combined for 62 personal fouls (Bucks 25, Bulls 37) and EIGHTY-ONE free throws. The Bucks shot 49 of those free throws, but made only 32 of them (65%), which put them at a real disadvantage against a clearly superior opponent.
There really wasn’t one player who stood out in this game, either on the stat sheet or while watching the game. Even though it was just a preseason game, I can’t emphasize enough just how overmatched the Bucks looked against the Bulls starters lead by star point guard Derrick Rose (more on him later on). The Bucks were without O.J. Mayo, which certainly hurt them, and was replaced by Gary Neal in the lineup. Neal did a fine job shooting (5-10 from the field, 3-4 from three), but was basically a turnstile on defense, especially when trying to guard Rose. The Bucks got outrebounded by the Bulls 52 to 31 and were outmuscled down below. A lack of strength in the frontcourt definitely needs to be a concern for this team going into the season. The Bucks also only shot 13 threes, making just four of those attempts. That number is far too low for a team whose best skill might be team three point shooting. It’s looking more and more like the Bucks need to shoot a lot of threes, and shoot them at a high percentage, if they want to win this season.
The most intriguing subplot coming into this game was how Derrick Rose would look coming off the ACL injury during the 2011-2012 playoffs. After not seeing him play for over a year it’s easy to forget just how fast, explosive, athletic, and all around talented he is as a player. Rose looked every bit as good as he did during his 2011 MVP campaign when he led the Bulls to the best record in the NBA. He was faster than everybody on the court by a noticeable margin, had some great drives and finishes at the rim, and one really great bounce pass on a fast break leading to an easy open layup. His shot mechanics looked better as well and even attempted 5 threes, making two of them. Fans of the NBA can be really happy that Rose looks 100% for the start of the season.
– Mike James might have made one of the worst basketball plays I’ve ever seen when he fouled Zaza Pachulia from behind on a three with 0.3 seconds left on the shot clock. Pachulia went on to make 2 – 3 from the line.
– Speaking of Mike James, Stacey King (the Bulls color analyst) made a “Who? Mike James” joke because apparently it’s 2005.
– The feed I was using was had a version of League Pass that showed memorable clips of NBA games from the past and had trivia questions instead of commercials. It was definitely better than the generic rock that League Pass normally uses and I hope that’s the way it will be for the regular season.