Bulls’ fourth-quarter comeback not enough to overcome sloppy play
The new era of Chicago Bulls basketball has been highlighted by Dwyane Wade‘s homecoming, but Wade wasn’t the highlight in the Bulls’ preseason opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.
Wade only played 12 minutes in his first game as a Bull as was planned, sitting out the entire second half. He was, however, a part of the lineup that opened the game on a strong note, going on an 8-0 run.
The lead and excitement grew when Jimmy Butler and Wade, both of whom aren’t known for their abilities to make 3-pointers, hit back-to-back threes to give the Bulls a 14-3 lead five minutes into the first quarter, but reality set in soon afterward.
The Bulls started playing sloppily: Turnovers piled up, stopping the Bulls’ momentum and giving the Bucks an opportunity to catch up to their fellow Central Division foe. By the end of the quarter, the Bulls accumulated eight turnovers and let their lead be cut to four, 25-21. And this set the tone for the rest of the game.
Defense was an afterthought for the Bulls, too, so the Bucks took advantage of this. Milwaukee’s Mirza Teletovic played a big role in this shift, scoring five quick points to open the second quarter. And it also didn’t help that the Bulls’ bench was nearly nonexistent.
Chicago never improved upon this play throughout the second quarter, though, so Teletovic and the Bucks upped their lead to double figures. By the 2:51 mark of the quarter, the Bucks had already scored 50 points. Come halftime, the Bulls trailed 55-42.
Like Wade, Butler was also done for the night after the first half, though, so the Bulls opened the third quarter with a lineup of Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Canaan, Tony Snell, Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez.
Lopez showed off his mid-range ability early in the third, making two nice jumpers; however, that couldn’t get the momentum going. And, for a while, it seemed like the game was going to stay like that from there on out.
But then the second unit made their way back late in the fourth.
With 5:41 left in the fourth, Doug McDermott made a shot coming out of a timeout to bring the Bulls within six points of a tie game. Cristiano Felicio followed up on the defensive end by stealing a bad pass from Michael Carter-Williams and translating it into a fast-break dunk.
Suddenly, the Bulls were only down four.
The Bulls tied the game at 87 with 3:13 left after Bobby Portis made the latter of his two free throws, but the Bulls maintained their sloppy play, allowing the Bucks to take back their lead and win the game.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.