Nate Robinson’s revenge: Bulls 104 – Bucks 88

Chicago Bulls 104 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Milwaukee Bucks
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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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  1. I wonder what it’s like to see the game in Monta Ellis’ eyes because from where Im watching basically everything he does looks like it’d be a bad idea. I have no idea what on god’s green earth compels a man to take a 2 point shot 6 inches in front of the 3 point line with 19 seconds on the shot clock several times a game, if anyone can answer that question for me Id greatly appreciate it. Also his attacking the rim…if his drives to the hoop where he tries to knife through 3 people are just to draw fouls then maybe it makes a little more sense, but for a 6’2″ guy to go into “the land of the giants” with regularity and rarely get whistles and convert at a low rate Im not sure what incentive there is to keep doing it as often as he is, although he does do it better than Jennings who has a similar problem drawing fouls and is even worse converting at the rim.

    Jennings is probably going to be suspended for Friday’s game Im not sure whether that’s a good or a bad thing, he usually plays well in the garden but I think he could use a night off to try and gather himself mentally

    • Agreed. I’ve seen enough to conclude that aside from the occasional game when he’s shooting lights out this team wouldn’t be much worse off without Ellis.

      And offensively why does he do the same things so often even though the rate of success has been so low? Its because Monta Ellis has an ego, he considers himself to be as good and capable as DWade and thats not reality. The Bucks need players that have the focus and discipline to find the best option for the team to score on every possession. Ellis has the talent but not the poise and patience to make every possession count. Fingers crossed for a trade.

  2. Time to warm up the tanks? Fire sale on everyone not named Henson or Sanders, try to get some picks/young talent or just unload some bad contracts. I cannot remember ever disliking the makeup of a Bucks team more than this current version. I long for the days of watching Mo Williams and Michael Redd chucking shots, cuz they sometimes actually went in.

    • I’m a big fan of Michael Redd. I would have
      liked to have been a big fan of Mo Williams
      (I wish him well) but he seemed to be intent
      on getting out of Milwaukee ASAP.

      The point for now is that I would like to know
      which of the current Bucks would like to stay
      in Milwaukee to play hard and unselfishly, and
      who wants to get out ASAP? Does anyone have a
      handle on this? Why waste time with guys who
      are just biding their time until they can find
      another team more to their liking?

      Conversely, I’d really like to get behind the guys
      who want to make a commitment to the Bucks and
      to Milwaukee.

  3. It’s one game folks. We’ll rebound and win a couple more here. I’m not worried. I just want to make the playoffs. Our shots just weren’t going down last night. It was frustrating but that’s how we play. Up and down. Not consistent.

    In fact we just went into reverse, beat the Pistons but then lost to the Bulls. Just the other way around this time.

  4. You know it’s a bad night when Nate Robinson (yes, Nate Robinson!) and Taj Gibson are tearing the Bucks apart. I agree Brandon is having a good year generally. But it might help his All Star credentials a bit if he would actually try to stay in front of his guy once in a while. If Nate Robinson can embarass him, anybody can.

    That said, we can harp all we want on Brandon and Monta and their ups and downs. But the elephant in the room is what the Bucks are currently using for their STARTING small forward. Enjoy these latest 2 game #’s from the “Prince”. Minutes per game 25. Points per game. 3.5- rebounds 4- Assists 1. For the life of me I cannot understand the Bucks love affair with Luc. I know, I know. He’s a very good defensive player. So why not use him as a situational defensive player when the moment calls for it? That’s what he’s good at.

    No other team in he NBA would dare start a 3 that cannot shoot from mid range, cannot shoot from 3 and cannot hit more than 50% of his free throws. It’s an embarassment to the organization and the fans. Wake up Bucks!

    • Could not possibly agree with you more. He seems like a fine human being, but he’s not a very exciting or useful player in the Bucks’ system. The only problem, however, comes when you ask who gets those minutes? Dunleavy needs to come off the bench, a three-guard set would get destroyed, and Harris obviously (if last night is any indication) isn’t quite ready for primetime. Think they might be stuck for the time being.

      Also, everyone calling for them to blow the team up: easy. 8-4 under Boylan. One bad game against a team that came in ready to roll and (note this) was missing their LEAST useful defender. Bucks came out flat, the Bulls were ready, BJ lost his cool, and they got rolled. It happens. 82 games, people. 82 games.

      • Appreciate the response.

        As indicated above, Harris was probably
        not put in a position to succeed last
        night, especially after languishing on
        the bench so much of the season.

        My concern is that he has maybe been
        mishandled by the Bucks and is getting
        discouraged. I’d like to hear from the
        coaches and GM as to why Harris isn’t playing.
        Are they giving up on him as a wasted first
        pick, or when do they think he might be ready,
        or what?

        Anyway, I think he could be a star. Again,
        all I’m asking for is 16 minutes and some
        good encouragement from his coaches.

      • @JP,

        blowing the team up may be an overreaction but you have to consider the longterm upside of trading a few of the core guys. Making the first round of the playoffs in a very week Eastern Conference should not be the end-all goal for this team. If we spend heavily to maintain the current roster then we will likely be in mediocrity for the foreseeable future. It would be better to get the best return on either or all of Jennings/Ellis/Dalembert/Harris/Udoh/Ilyasova/Udrih/Dunleavy right now and try to add a legitimate star to what will be a formidable front court (Sanders + Henson). That star is going to be hard to get but we just might have the assets to get one. Even if we dont I really dont like the way this team plays basketball and dont really believe that they can go anywhere. People in milwaukee dont seem too excited or intrigued either.

        We know what we have right now, its not bad but the bucks have been doing this for a decade. enough is enough.

    • I, too, am puzzled by the Luc Mbah a Moute situation.
      How many years has he been in the league, now? I was
      hoping he might develop a little bit of Sidney Moncrief,
      using his athleticism to create shots inside, and
      developing at least a decent jumpshot. Unfortunately, he
      continues to be inept on offense, perhaps embarrasingly
      so. Luc seems like a really good guy, and I root for him,
      but his poor offense is exasperating. Maybe he can
      contribute as a situational defensive player, and maybe
      he can get some good coaching this off-season for his offense.

      Also, I would like to see Tobias Harris get half the chance that
      Luc has had since his rookie year. All I’m asking for right
      now is 16 minutes per game for Tobias.

  5. Why do I feel like I am the only one seeing this? Monta Ellis doesn’t care if the Bucks win/lose.. he is a career 45.7% FG shooter and at a higher volume when he was in Golden State.. you think the older he gets the less he recognizes a good shot versus a bad shot? or is it more likely that a soon to be free agent is doing just enough to keep himself viable for a big contract.. but hey it’s probably Brando’s, Skiles, Boylan’s fault blah blah blah

    And I don’t care what BJ says about weight lifting/adding muscle affecting your shot.. dude needs to get in a gym.. should never get manhandled by a guy you have 4 inches+ on.. And I don’t care if Dalembert is contributing.. I am still gonna give an “I told you so” about his questionable work ethic and dedication to being a productive player

    • Justin, So I guess you REALLY don’t like to loose to Chicago? Me neither!

      First, I agree with all of your points. Ellis … are those bad shots and turnovers worth the spectacular off balance toss up that goes in? Is it a lack of focus, talent or just a bad attitude.

      BJ temper tantrum not good. You want to be point for this team, then you’ll have to figure out how to play against these guys. Talk to Sanders, he can give you some temper tips because he has to bang with the big guys every night.

      Dalembert started good but how many times did we see the frontcourt players watch the Bulls go in for score after score after score. That fight Ekpe showed against Pistons was gone.

      The whole team looked like they were half asleep. Bulls did not play back to back, but Bucks have a few more of these so they are going to have to play a lot better than that.

      There is always Friday in New York!

      Go Bucks!

      • as always thanks Patti.. I hope this post wasn’t too negative.. I always have the TEAMS best interest in mind

  6. I can also seemingly lackluster effort of monta..has anyone seen an interview with this guy? Even after winning games he seems like he is sad, I dont think he wants to be here… and i think bj not being added to the all star game played a large role in this defeat..he had a horrible game after the initial selections too…compared to the night before selections when he played against jru

  7. bulls fan here…..jennings is one of my favorite players though, its a shame he lost his cool like that….