Bulls-Bucks Preview

Milwaukee Bucks Status Check:
Record: 6-4
Division: 2-0
Conference: 5-3
Home Record: 3-2
Last 10 Games: 6-4
Streak: Lost 2
Last game: 113-106 loss to Miami
PPG: 101.2 (6th)
Opponents PPG: 99.4 (20th)
Offensive Rating: 104.3 (17th)
Defensive Rating: 102.4 (11th)
Pace: 96.1 (1st)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .489 (13th)
Turnover Percentage: .129 (5th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .770 (1st)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .257 (19th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .162 (27th)
Opp. eFG%: .497 (25th)
Opp. TO%: .162 (4th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .247 (27th)
Leading scorer: Monta Ellis (16.9)
Stats from Basketball-Reference

Bucks Injury Report:
Luc Mbah a Moute: out indefinitely (knee)

It’s now three losses in a row for the Bulls, and things aren’t looking good for the team that had the best record in the league two years running. The Bulls are under .500 for the first time since November 2010. The Bulls continue their road trip against a Milwaukee team they have dominated as of late.

But those Bucks are leading the Central this season, with a 6-4 record. Milwaukee has the best defensive rebounding percentage in the league at .770. They are only allowing 9.4 offensive boards a game, good for second best in the league. The Bulls are allowing 10.8 offensive rebounds a game

The Bucks are also forcing the third most turnovers per game, 17.1. They are forcing other teams to turn it over, while holding onto the ball themselves. Milwaukee is 5th in turnover percentage (.129). Forcing turnovers (the Bucks are 4th in opponent turnover percentage), holding onto the ball yourself and not allowing offensive boards are big keys to the Bucks good start to the season.

The Bucks have lost two straight though. They are coming off a 113-106 to the Heat, but before that they lost 102-98 to the Bobcats. A loss to Charlotte isn’t the most embarrassing thing anymore; considering MJ’s new team is 6-5. That’s right the Bobcats have a better record than the Bulls this season. I don’t think anyone expected that.

Joakim Noah has clearly been the Bulls best player this year. He’s been scoring, rebounding and playing defense. The Bulls defensive rating is 19.3 points better with Jo on the floor compared to when he is off it. That’s 19 fewer points per 100 possessions for the opponent when Noah is in the game. Of the other guys getting big minutes, the next best is Kirk Hinrich, with a 9.1 difference.

Joakim has played 80 percent of the available minutes this year, so you’d think the Bulls would be doing well, but when the starting center is off the court, the Bulls defensive rating sky-rockets to 117.0 and the opponent effective field goal percentage goes from .470 to .503.

The Bulls defensive rating is still great, at 5th in the league (101.2). But their offensive rating continues its downward spiral. The Bulls are now 23rd in offensive rating (101.4).

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