Bucks-Bulls Preview

Milwaukee Bucks Status Check:
Record: 6-5
Division: 2-1
Conference: 5-4
Road Record: 3-2
Last 10 Games: 5-5
Streak: Lost 3
Last game: 93-86 loss to the Bulls
PPG: 99.8 (10th)
Opponents PPG: 98.8 (18th)
Offensive Rating: 103.7 (17th)
Defensive Rating: 102.7 (11th)
Pace: 95.4 (1st)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .485 (13th)
Turnover Percentage: .127 (5th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .751 (3rd)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .254 (21st)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .155 (30th)
Opp. eFG%: .490 (21st)
Opp. TO%: .161 (4th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .253 (28th)
Leading scorer: Monta Ellis (19.9)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Bucks Injury Report:
Brandon Jennings: questionable (ankle)
Luc Mbah a Moute: out (knee)

Chicago finishes up their home-and-home with Milwaukee and it’s now the Bucks looking to snap a three-game losing skid on the road.

The Bulls arrival back home also means the end of the circus road trip. Chicago finished the annual voyage 2-3. They started and finished the trip with wins, the bread of the sandwich if you will, against the Suns and Bucks. But the meat of the circus trip, Clippers, Blazers and Rockets, were all losses.

On Saturday night the Bulls snapped their three game losing streak with a 93-86 win behind two unusual fourth quarter stars.

Carlos Boozer and Rip Hamilton were both on the court for the final quarter and played big roles for the first time in a while. It’s good to see Thibs making changes to his rotations to try and switch a few things up. Normally his defensively focused lineups work, especially last year, but the Bulls need more scoring now without Rose. With Booz and Rip on the court, they have semi-reliable guys to get it to.

That being said they are both still liabilities on the defensive end.

Chicago controlled the boards, and that isn’t easy to do against the Bucks. Milwaukee was first in defensive rebounding percentage going into Saturday night’s game at .770. But the Bulls pulled down 20 offensive rebounds for a .440 offensive rebounding percentage. Milwaukee was allowing 9.4 offensive rebounds a game, but Carlos Boozer had 8 offensive rebounds by himself.

Booz had just 19 O-boards in the previous 11 games, so maybe Saturday night was a sign of things to come for Boozington. Probably not though…expect regression. Thibs showed confidence in Boozer, and Rip, and let them finish the game out. Chicago needs those two guys to score, even though they can’t bring much to the other end.

Rip did his damage from the free throw line, something he has needed to do since he became a Bull. He shot 6-18 from the field (33 percent) but was a perfect 10-10 from the charity stripe. Rip also had six turnovers. So it wasn’t the best performance from him, but 22 points when the Bulls need scoring was enough to keep him on the court.

Rip Hamilton was just a small part of the Bulls free throw shooting. They went 25-26 for the game as a team, compared to just 7-10 for the Bucks. Free throws and rebounding (the Bulls outrebounded Milwaukee 54-40) won the game for Chicago.

Saturday’s win made it 9 consecutive wins over the Bucks for Chicago. And tonight may be an even steeper climb for the Bucks. Milwaukee may be without Brandon Jennings. Jennings is questionable for the game with an ankle injury. He was the Bucks leading scorer last time out with 23 points on 10-20 shooting. He also added seven assists and five steals. Without Jennings Beno Udrih will probably get the start. Beno scored 12 points against Chicago.

If there is something to be worried about for the Bulls, it’s that Milwaukee had ten steals and ten blocks, while Chicago had just four steals and two blocks.

Thibs really switched up his rotations last time out and it paid off. Marco Belinelli on played four minutes, and only four players got off the bench for Chicago. It’s always scary that Thibs will overuse the starters, particularly Noah and Deng, who each played 42 minutes Saturday, but it seems like a necessary evil now.

A team that used to be so deep, with a bench that oftentimes closed out games, may be working with this type of shortened rotation for a while, unless some of the bench guys start to turn it around.

One Response to Bucks-Bulls Preview

  1. rgcalvin93@yahoo.com'
    Al November 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    Hinrich gon go off after seeing that jersey in the toilet (prolly not)

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