Game 30 Recap: Bulls 90, Bucks 77


And you thought the Bulls’ win over the Pistons was ugly.

Of course, against a top-notch defensive team like the Bucks — currently ranked 5th in Defensive Rating (102.2) and 4th in Opponents PPG (92.6) — you pretty much have to expect ugly. In their last 12 games, they’ve allowed 100+ points only once. During that same stretch, they’ve scored 100+ points only once.

Milwaukee is a classic Scott Skiles team: They slow things down and put their opponents in the meat grinder. The paint gets clogged. Layup attempts are blocked or intimidated. Jump shots are harrassed. Heck, the Bucks rotate and run out so well that even open jump shots feel contested.

That said, Milwaukee was playing their second game of back-to-backs, on the road no less, and minus key players due to injuries (Brandon Jennings, Drew Gooden, Carlos Delfino) and suspension (Earl Boykins). Not surprisingly, their defense was slow to get going, and the Bulls blitzed them with a 27-point first quarter and led by 12.

However, the Bucks blitzed back during the second quarter. They turned up their D, started forcing turnovers, and began attacking the basket. Milwaukee attempted 15 free throws in that 12-minute stretch. The Bulls attempted only one measley fouls shot while committing seven turnovers. And just like that, Chicago’s 12-point lead became a one-point halftime deficit.

Fortunately, the Bucks may very well be the worst offensive team in the Association. They certainly are by the numbers, ranking dead last in both Offensive Rating (99.7) and PPG (90.3). And it so happens that the Bulls aren’t too shabby on the defensive end themselves, ranking 3rd in D-Rating (100.2) and 8th in Opponents PPG (94.6).

So after a 30-point second quarter — fueled primarily by Chicago’s turnovers — Milwaukee scored only 32 points in the second half and finished with a new season-low in field goal percentage (32.1). As the game wore on, the Bucks were doomed by their standard bad offense and a lack of fresh bodies. The Bulls used a 16-4 run in final minutes of the fourth quarter to put the Bucks out of their misery.

Offensively, the Bulls were a three-man show last night, getting 66 of their 90 points from Carlos Boozer (24 points, 10-for-16, 9 rebounds), Luol Deng (24 points, 9-for-15, 5 boards) and Derrick Rose (18 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds). Rose shot the ball poorly (7-for-17), but he consistently found the open man. Plus, he and Boozer spent much of the fourth quarter dissecting the Bucks with a pick and roll. That helped put the game away.

Said Boozington: “We just started to do the pick-and-roll, we stopped doing the rest of our stuff. We mixed it up through the course of the game, we realized that we had a good matchup with D-Rose and I on the pick-and-roll and we just kept going to it.”

Added Rose: “He is teaching me, he knows sometimes he doesn’t need to set the pick or he can slip if I just drive at his man and his man stays with me I can just bounce pass and he has his left hand. Everything is coming to us, but we’ve got to continue to do it.”

Even those the Boozer-Deng-Rose trio made the offensive headlines, Kurt Thomas was the team’s Defensive Player of the Game. His stats don’t really show it — 30 minutes, 7 rebounds, 4 fouls, 2 points, 1 blocked shot — but he did a real number on Andrew Bogut. Milwaukee’s big man scored only 4 points on 2-for-12 shooting.

For perspective, Bogut averaged 21.7 PPG on 51.8 percent shooting against the Bulls last season. Last night, he was only 2-for-9 at the rim and attempted only two foul shots.

Said Boozer: “Let me tell you, Kurt Thomas did a phenomenal job. That’s their go-to and they go to him quite a bit. Obviously Kurt played there last year so he know his moves, but Kurt did a great job on him and he basically took their best player out of the game by himself.”

And in the end, it’s another W in the standings, ugly or not.

Said Deng: “We did a good job in the fourth quarter. At the end of the day it is a win. Nobody is going to look at how you got it. We are starting to learn as a team that the most important thing is winning the game.”

Recap, Box Score, Advanced Box Score, Play-By-Play, Shot Chart, Photos.

21 Responses to Game 30 Recap: Bulls 90, Bucks 77

    JoeSez December 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    I missed the game but if Deng scored 24 then I’ll wager Maggette was defending him.

    Chicago Bulls Rumors December 29, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    I think the Bulls should look at every option and if they can get something valuable for Luol Deng they should pull the trigger.

    inkybreath December 30, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    Do you think it stings Bogans that 37 year old Kurt Thomas can come straight cold off the bench and become an immediate impact player, while Keith gets to start every game and struggles to make the slightest dent.

    Twice, in the beginning of the Bucks game, he was practically underneath or in front of the basket and passed without a hint that he might actually take the shot.


    Brooklyn Bulls December 30, 2010 at 2:23 am #

    I have been 1 of Deng’s harshist critics, but i must admit that the guy is starting 2 prove his worth this season….although he’s still a lil 2 soft 4 my taste he has been a consistent 3rd scorer and great defensive presence 4 the team. he’s a glu guy that if traded would rock the foundation the team has built

  5. Noah's FT Ark December 30, 2010 at 4:55 am #

    a few games back i joked about kurt’s lack of jumping, but he’s been great since getting that first game rust off. foot in my mouth!

    chitown4life December 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    I agree deng has played through injuries and yes sometimes his game may appear soft but he also bangs hard not gonna say he is totally soft he uses his inside game well, I think the bulls should keep deng he is a glu guy but also a pretty good player there are not too many good small forwards with his ability also his three point shot has improved big time must admit i have always liked deng but our bulls need a 2 guard and that is the simple truth no other way around it no more time for them to jell its past that time period …. Go get mayo he fits nicely or else hamilton richardson might be too lazy if he is not getting shots and ben gordons contract too huge for us to take on…..

    chitown4life December 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    I am gonna say this T Mac looks pretty good think we would have used him now if he was with the team the bulls might have messed up not signing him at least to one year deal would not have hurt much seems to fit right in a the D and not conplaining ,oh well just saying that was then and this is now we need a 2 guard now…………………….

    BoppinBob December 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    I am getting very distressed by Thibs continued use of Bogans, the starter should be Brewer, with Korver coming off the bench at both wing positions. Bogans should be used as a second team player and getting PT against the opponents second line players. I am not yet convinced the Bulls need to give up key players like Taj to upgrade the SG position. I like the way Korver is being used at both the SF & SG positions. I would prefer to see Brewer starting at SG with Bogans and Watson coming off the bench at SG depending on the opponents personnel.

    Brooklyn Bulls December 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    Definitely need a 2 guard, but TMac (averaging 5 pts a game btw) is not it. He recently refused to go back n a game n the 4th b/c coach didnt play him n the 3rd. I like Stephen Jackson. JR smith’s trey ball is not worth the headache

    Gorditadog December 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    I thought Bogans played well against the Bucks. He totally shut down Salmons and he kept the ball moving on offense- even made a shot. The key to our SG position is going to be guarding Ray Allen, Dwayne Wade, Jason Richardson and Joe Johnson. Tibs has confidence that Bogans and Brewer can do the job. Korver is very limited in who he can match up with as a defender- he is not going to see a lot of minutes as a guard.

    I don’t think Bulls regret for a second not signing McGrady.

    inkybreath December 31, 2010 at 12:32 am #

    I wish we could’ve gotten in on that Jason Richardson action …. Someone get Jerry Stackhouse on the phone!

    chitown4life December 31, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    Oh my no I am not hearing from last comment that we are doing just fine…. what you smoking or what team are you watching if not for d rose this team would be in bad shape now period yes boozer has came in and helped big time but give credit where it is due our 2 guards are bad just saying the facts and coach tibs he must be getting paid to let bogans play but he best wake up and make a change and quick
    look at all the shots bogans misses he does not want to shoot most of the time in fear he will miss badly just saying we need help now someone dial 911 its an emergency we need a two guard Now………. one that can shoot from long range especially and score like a two guard is suppose to do we are not fine with the team we have now got it inky help a brother out geezzzz these guys must be drinking saying the team is fine No wayyyyy………

    Gorditadog December 31, 2010 at 2:13 am #


    I am happy you are a Bulls fan but I don’t need criticism from someone who doesn’t know what a punctuation mark is. Go back to school, and when you graduate you might realize that to win in the NBA you need to play defense. Jordan, Pippen and Rodman had 27 NBA All-Defense Awards between them. The Bulls of the 90’s shut teams down. Celtics teams with Tibs won with heart and defense.

    Rose is our first scoring option, and Boozer is next. Deng is doing fine as 3rd. Yes it would be nice to have a 2 guard who could spot up as well as guard but we need a role player there not a prima donna. Why would you even think that Tracy McGrady would be a help to our team?

    If we can get a two-way shooting guard without gutting our bench I am all for it. If not we will be fine with Bogans and Brewer.

    BoppinBob December 31, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    Bogans started the year shooting terribly, but has shown improvement overall and 3-pt each month (Oct, 2 gms – o, 22.2% 3, 16.7%; Nov, 13 gms – o, 38.3%, 3, 28.6%; Dec, 15 gms – o, 40.5%, 3, 35.7%). Brewer is hitting on 53.5% of his shots. In the Bulls offense there are not a lot of shots for the forth and fifth options, therefore I agree that they have to be effective. While I would like to see Brewer start, I see the combination of Brewer, Bogans & Korver doing the job at SG pretty well as the record attests.

    Bam! December 31, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    I feel weird saying this but I think we should keep Bogans and get rid of Brewer. If we can manage to get someone like OJ Mayo, then Mayo would start, playing around 33 minutes per game, and korver and bogans would split the rest of the time. If Bogans comes off the bench, his defensive presence will be felt dramatically, and his scoring skills (or lack thereof) will be irrelevant.

    chitown4life January 1, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    @ gordtidog

    This is not a damm class for school nor the forum to prononce that you are literate, good for you that you have yr puntuations in the right place too bad your since for the game is not.This bulls team has a big glaring hole the problem is at shooting guard only time they are guarded well is when they drive to the basket no one respects there outside shooting only korver, there for with me mentioning t mac it was only a passing thought at least he is hitting his outside shots unlike brewer and bogans and would have been a much better fill in that at the very least, bogans far as the shooting is concerned. so the next time you speak don’t make it about my education my grades I am sure are much better than yrs would compare, so what I did not properly place the correct puntuations , get a life better yet watch some games and learn how its really played especially knowing you never played it before as I have and not only in pick up games , just was never good enough to make it to the pro’s thanks though for your concerns on my grammer.You seem as though you have lots of spare time on yr hands, maybe might want to try a diet perhaps work out hmmm imagine that anyways I’m a realist and a bulls fan and just giving my opion in what I see as the bulls biggest weakness thank you very much …………Peace

    chitown4life January 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    @ gortidog

    Finally I agree we need defense but in the big picture if we do not score more than the other team does not matter how much defense they play, no team can totally stop any team therefore scoring is and always be a need for this and every team in the NBA,you pinted out Jordan , Pippen and Rodman tops n the game espescially Jordan do not comapare this team to them it won’t come close they were special and that is that this team has to find outher ways to win unlike the way Jordan and company did lol too funny you would even bring them into this as if this team is close to being as good as they were shame on you for that thought Gortidog………

    BoppinBob January 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    chitown4life, in Decembers 16 games, Rose shot 43.8% from 3-pt land, Deng shot 41.8% and Korver shot 35.8%, Brewer shot 40.0%, Bogans shot 33.3% and Watson shot 30.8%. The team overall took 15.3 3-pt shots and hit 38.8% have a winning record. for the season the Bulls are averaging 15.9 3-pt shots a game and hitting at a 35.8% rate. The Bulls were 12-4 in December.

    Last December (2009) the team took 10.4 3-pt shots and hit 32.1% had a losing record. The Bulls were 7-8 in December 2009. That is a 6.7% improvement. and a 50% increase in the number of attempts. If we look at December 2008 the Bulls took 17.4 3-pt shots a game and hit 41.8% but had a losing record (the Bulls were 6-9 in December 2008.

    As the season progresses I believe the trend of improvement will continue:
    Oct ’10 3.5 3PM 16.0 3PA 21.9%
    Nov ’10 5.8 3PM 16.5 3PA 34.9%
    Dec ’10 5.9 3PM 15.3 3PA 38.8%
    This team is still developing it’s identity. Players are settling into their roles and getting comfortable. While I would love to see an upgrade at the SG I do not believe that it is essential for the success of the Bulls, presently the guards provide 40.9% of the offense, the forwards provide 42.7% of the offense and the centers provide 16.4% that is a fairly decent balance. If I am Gar/Pax I would be very careful messing with that balance.

    chitown4life January 3, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    @ BoppBob

    Well you have lots of facts bob, but what you fail to say in all of yr facts is the team the bulls have now is without question better than the one they had last year, at the same time ask yrself or better yet find out when bogans, brewer and yes even korver have made most of there shots D Rose is a beast no questions he is who he is, but the rest hit there shots when it does not count its not crunch time or when they actually mean more in the game when it counts most. The only reason our record is better now is cause the team is better not because of the coach not because of brwer bogans and korver its because of Rose boozer and deng with Noah being a big part of it too but he is out now so get some more facts then come back and let me know if we don’t need a legit shooting guard ok…Peace

    BoppinBob January 3, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    chitown, you are entitled to your opinion, I think you are wrong. Truth be told, I think we need a better back-up center, I have said that since August. Of course Gar/Pax/Thibs will tell all of us who is right, in their opinion, which at this time, is the only one that counts.

    As far as my not saying that the team is better this year than last year, the facts said that, and the results bear out the facts. Besides, I did not want to insult your intelligence by stating the obvious. But I would beg to differ with you on the coaching comment that you made. I do believe that Thibs is getting more out of this team than VDN would have gotten. I was not happy when the Bulls let VDN go, I thought he did a remarkable job getting the Bulls to the playoffs 2 years in a row, but the hiring of Thibs changed my mind.

    chitown4life January 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    @ boppinbob

    I am not here for confrentation nor to try to sway anyone my way on my views yet its only my opion , to the things i see and have seen on our chicago bulls teams, one of the most signifigant change is at power forward even though T gibs did a great job playing the spot when he was there, also fact is I guess I am just tired of waiting nd hoping all the pieces fall into place for out team.The team we have now is so close to being just right an elite team almost unbeatable we just need the right players the chemistry is there now lets finish what has begun here and get all the players we need now while we have assets and , picks to make it happen and deal with the luxury tax later. …Peace

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