Butler and Bulls Win Game 2
*Photo via USA Today
The Chicago Bulls protected home-court and won both games at home over the Milwaukee Bucks tonight, it was a 91-82 win.
This game was gritty and tough, both teams played with intensity and physicality, which lead to some skirmishes and technical fouls. Both teams also had stretches of sloppy basketball and players who under-performed . To counter that,each team had one guy step up and lead them in scoring, for the Bulls it was Jimmy Butler (31 points) and for the Bucks it was Khris Middleton. (22 points)
This game started out with a lot of defense and not much scoring. Both teams began the game cold, with the Bucks shooting 25 percent from the field and the Bulls shooting 23 percent from the field in the first quarter. This was a combination of good defense and poor shooting by both teams. The teams did pick it up as the game progressed, but not much. The Bucks ultimately left the first quarter with a 16-11 , mostly thanks to their six steals.
In the second, things didn’t get off to a great start, especially for the Bulls. The Bucks had the lead up to 10 points, but it didn’t take long for the Bulls to respond. A skirmish broke out between the teams and it helped ignite a Bulls run lead by Jimmy Butler. Butler had to take on some more scoring with Derrick Rose shooting zero from seven from the field in the first half. The Bucks did respond to run and held the lead to end of the half, when Michael Dunleavy hit a few threes to give the Bulls a one point lead going into the half.
The game went back and forth in the third quarter, one thing that really stuck out was the struggles of Giannis Antetokounmpo, he made aggresive drives to the rim, but could not finish. He finished the game two of 11 from the field. Some of the other young Bucks stepped up, like Michael Carter-Williams and Kris Middleton. Derrick Rose helped the Bulls respond with a 12 point quarter of his own.
This was highest scoring quarter of the game with the Bulls scoring 32 points and the Bucks scoring 30 points.This gave the Bulls a three point lead going into the fourth.
In the fourth, things tightened back up and the Bucks took a three point lead early, but again the Bulls responded. They went on a 10-0 run lead by Jimmy Butler, who had his fingerprints all over the fourth quarter with big threes and a dunk over Zaza Pachulia. The Bulls tightened it up on defense and the tension grew. This lead to another skirmish and two technicals for Zaza Pachulia and a ejection . Nikola Mirotic also seemed to injure his knee on the same play, the exact injury is unknown.
The Bucks had their chances to get back in the game, but couldn’t capitalize. Middleton only was able to put up two points in the fourth quarter, after putting up 20 points through the first three quarters. The Bucks as team only scored 14 points in the fourth quarter , one reason they weren't able to get the win and are facing a two game deficit in the series. The need to find ways to score when the game slow down and they need a bucket.
Player of the Game: Jimmy Butler was huge for the Bulls and played big when it mattered most. He finished the game with 31 points on 10 of 19 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds.
Dud of the Game: The Bucks’ fast break game, the Bucks know they need to find ways to get easy baskets. The Bucks managed nine blocks and 10 steals, but only six fast break points.
Stat of the Game: Giannis Antetokounmpo is six for 24 from the field in this series so far. The Bucks need more scoring from the Greek Freak if they want to win a game in this series.
Breakdown: The Bucks had a chance to steal a game in this series especially with the amount of turnovers the Bulls had in the first half. (10 turnovers) When the Bulls defense tightened up in the fourth the Bucks had trouble getting baskets. The Bucks need to try to extend their first quarter play throughout the whole game. Another thing the Bucks need to figure out is the Bulls bigs, even though they didn’t have huge scoring games they dominated the boards. The Bucks still have a chance if they can win these next two at home, but like I said, they will need to play a full game.
Game three is Thursday at 8pm on NBATV