Nate Robinson’s revenge: Bulls 104 – Bucks 88
|Ersan Ilyasova, SF 39 MIN | 6-18 FG | 4-6 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 18 PTS | -8
All things considered, he was probably the Bucks best player Wednesday. Taj Gibson was pretty frustrated with guarding Ilyasova by the end of the night, as Ersan kept dropping in jumpers over his out-stretched arm. Ers had much less success around the hoop though, where the Bulls strength was too much for him to handle.
|Samuel Dalembert, C 24 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -4
At least four of Dalembert’s baskets came off offensive rebound tap-ins. In this regard, he filled in admirably for Larry Sanders. Defensively? He struggled to match Sanders’ energy and quickness across the paint. Jim Boylan talked after the game about Dalembert working himself back into game shape, which I found curious. Isn’t it almost February? He hasn’t been injured, he’s just been not playing. It’s strange and unfortunate that Dalembert hasn’t kept himself in immaculate shape, but of course, he didn’t exactly show up ready to run marathons in October either.
|Monta Ellis, PG 38 MIN | 4-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | -2
The struggles continue for Ellis. He must have missed the memo that the Bucks are playing better under Boylan. Since Skiles’ departure, Ellis has now averaged 16.3 points on 40% shooting from the field and 23% from three. Strange for Ellis to have such a low field goal per … oh.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 40 MIN | 6-18 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | -7
Struggled to contain Nate Robinson’s penetration. Had trouble scoring effectively outside of the third quarter. Complained to the officials with regularity. Pushed off Robinson for his fourth foul. Got himself ejected as a very strong Bulls fan contingent mocked him with applause as he walked off the court at home. Night probably couldn’t have gone worse.
|Ekpe Udoh, PF 12 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -12
Udoh might be one of the least impactful players in the NBA. If we’re calling Larry Sanders, LARRY SANDERS! we should call Ekpe Udoh, ekpeudoh. I don’t care if he rotates with the efficiency of a ferris wheel – you can’t be a power forward/center in the NBA without grabbing a rebound in 12 minutes.
|Tobias Harris, SF 7 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -4
He actually entered a real live, competitive basketball game for the first time in a long time. Things did not go well. He launched a ball hard off the glass. Then came down and caught the ball in the post. When he was doubled, he panicked and threw a ball off a Bull out of bounds. He then inbounded and turned the ball over on the pass. But I don’t really fault him. It’s hard to be so far out of the rotation and then have to return against the league’s best, most intense defensive team. He was not put in a position to succeed.
Three Things We Saw
- Chicago’s defensive intensity blew the Bucks away. They were very quick to rotate and they applied pressure until the Bucks cracked. Milwaukee didn’t get many good looks from the perimeter, as the Bulls were very much okay making the Bucks beat their defensive rotations on penetrations. Everyone on Chicago was pretty dialed in.
- 66 of the Bulls 104 points came in the paint. A sign that they were much more physical and aggressive than Milwaukee. Sometimes these numbers can be misleading. Sometimes they are very accurate. This one was very accurate.
- Boylan said after the game he didn’t think Jennings took any bad shots on account of things getting personal between he and Nate Robinson. I beg to differ. I recall at least one horrific three fired up by Jennings that had an unusual amount of arc and very little chance of going in. It missed bad. Even if Jennings play wasn’t really that affected by Robinson, Chicago’s diminutive guard was pretty physical and in the chest of Jennings all night. He was ready to go.