First thing’s first.
With that out of the way, let me tell you my deepest, most cherished thoughts on the gleaming jewel of a basketball game we just are.
Down to only eight bodies, the Bulls set the entire endeavor of sport back a few decades in a rousing loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, who entered the night as the worst team in the East and the second worst team in the entire league (fun fact: the Bulls have also lost to that other team, Utah). Without Joakim Noah, the Bulls started an ineffective Nazr Mohammed. Carlos Boozer, who remains perfectly healthy, was dominated by John Henson but still managed to carve out 19 points and 9 rebounds on 8-23 shooting, hardly what I’d call good but also hardly the problem in a game this bad. In less depressing news, Mike Dunleavy made sure his former team remembered his name by dropping 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists on 9-15 shooting. 18 of his points came in the second quarter, coincidentally the only quarter in which the Bulls scored more than 20 points. Tony Snell, my key Bull of the game, finished with 13 points on 14 shots and looked rather timid most of the night. Taj Gibson added 10 and 9 on 5-9 shooting, but also had 6 turnovers (as did Boozer), which was ultimately Chicago’s undoing. Milwaukee scored 25 points off 18 Chicago turnovers.
The Bucks were led by John Henson’s dominant 25 point, 14 rebound, 6 block, 3 steal and 2 assist on 11-17 shooting game, easily his best effort against Chicago during his NBA tenure. Brandon Knight had 19 points and 10 boards on 23 shots despite overmatching the Bulls point guards all night. Speaking of, Kirk Hinrich and Marquis Teague combined to tally 3 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals on 1-17 shooting. They did, however, fulfill the most basic function of their position, with 6 assists and 1 turnover apiece. The Bulls’ role players in general were terrible, with half their rotation (Hinrich, Teague, Mohammed, and Murphy) combining for 6 points on 2-22 shooting. This cannot happen. The Bulls visit the floundering Knicks tomorrow night, then play in Milwaukee on Friday and host Toronto on Saturday. This might get much worse before it gets better. Maybe D.J. Augustin isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Player of the Game: Mike Dunleavy