The NBA family lost a great reporter in Craig Sager last night- Sager, 65, lost his long battle with leukemia, and will be remembered for his outrageously patterned suits, and his ability to get Greg Popovich to actually answer questions during mid game interviews. Rest in Piece, Craig #SagerStrong
To sum up the Bulls performance- It was bad. Very very bad.
After an embarrassing loss to Tom Thibodeaus’ ‘league worst’ Timberwolves, the Bulls struggled to show signs of life in Milwaukee losing 108-97. Thursday night was also the first night Tony Snell has played the Bulls. Snell, whom I’ve never been to high on, would be a welcomed addition to the Bulls’ current bench, given his length and ability to defend. Those two skills are something that none of the rotational backcourt players on the Bulls do very well. Snell scored 9 points in 31 minutes in the Bucks 108-97 victory.
This seems to be a return to a mean. The Chicago Bulls haven’t played well enough to be considered one of the elite teams in the league. At this point the elite tier would consist of the Cavs, Warriors, Raptors, Spurs and Clippers. Currently, this team is playing like a 7-8 seed. If they continue to struggle, they could miss the playoffs for the 2nd consecutive season, and for the first time since the long rebuilding years of 1998-2004.
The Bucks came roaring out of the gates opening the first quarter with 30 points. The Greek Freak added on to his break-out year with his 5th 30 point game of the season. Antetokounmpo shot nearly 50% from the floor while grabbing 14 rebounds.
Chicago’s own Jabari Parker added on 28 points shooting 13/19 from the field. The forward from Simeon is having his best season as a professional– following is ACL surgery in 2014.
It wasn’t all bad for the Bulls, although it rarely looked pretty. Taj Gibson continues to show that he should have been starting for years- Taj shot 7/11 for 19 points. However he only played 8 minutes in the second half, which is completely unacceptable. Bobby Portis went from 4 straight games without action to 23 minutes of time. He totaled more minutes than Cristiano Felicio (21) and Nikola Mirotic (DNP-CD). I don’t blame Fred for trying to shake things up with his bench– but Taj Gibson should be on the floor in the second half.
The duo of Wade and Butler combined for 41 points, but this was never a contest that they were going to rescue the Bulls from, considering the large deficit early on.
The Bulls bench was outscored again– 28-25. Without better bench contribution, the Bulls will continue to find themselves losing these types of games.
Even with the addition of Dwyane Wade, this team is showing the same inconsistencies as last year. Fans have seen this over and over again–Chicago is able to Beat the elite teams, and lose to the very bad teams. Fred Hoiberg’s team continues to look for answers, hopefully they find a solution soon. Hopefully they won’t find themselves in too deep of a hole. Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade can only do so much, and they need to find the answer together.
The Bulls and Bucks square off again tonight at the United Center, and I expect Fred to have the Bulls ready after back-to-back losses to inferior teams.