Game 1 (Preseason): Chicago Bulls (0-1) lose to Milwaukee Bucks (1-0), 93-91
Oct. 3, 2016
United Center – Chicago
Despite starting with an 8-0 run and a set of back-to-back threes from Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade in the fourth quarter, the Bulls’ sloppy play, particularly turnovers and a lack of defense, put them in a hole early in the game. They trailed by only four one quarter into the game, but the deficit only grew from there. The Bulls’ second unit also couldn’t match up with the Bucks’ bench well in that first half either, making it even easier for the Bucks to get ahead.
The lack of discipline carried on throughout most of the game, but the Bulls’ bench got their act together enough in the latter part of the fourth quarter in an attempt to make a comeback.
Doug McDermott made a bucket, and Cristiano Felicio got a steal right after, leading to a fast-break dunk. This shifted the momentum back to the Bulls for the first time since the first half. But the Bulls hadn’t put their sloppiness aside. Turnovers came up again, and it cost them the game, too.
Player of the Game
Gibson got the starting nod and made the most of it. In 22 minutes, he managed to post a double-double of 11 points (5-9 FG) and 12 rebounds. He was also the Bulls’ lone double-digit rebounder and the game’s leading rebounder.
Tony Snell‘s game has been questionable, but he played aggressively in the preseason opener. He made the most of the 17 minutes he received, scoring 10 points on 4-7 from the field and added four rebounds. He was the only Chicago bench player, besides McDermott, to score in double figures.
The Bulls committed 22 turnovers, and eight of them came in the first quarter. So the turnovers hurt them early on and, unfortunately, set a tone for the rest of the game. Granted, this is a team filled with players who are still trying to familiarize themselves with one another, but it still can’t happen.
The Bulls (35) made five more field goals than the Bucks (30) did, but the Bucks had the advantage from downtown, making twice as many 3-pointers than the Bulls did. Perimeter shooting has been mentioned as a concern since the Bulls revamped their roster, and their perimeter shooting in the preseason opener was further proof of that.
Rookie Denzel Valentine left the game in the third quarter after spraining his left ankle and did not return. He had four points, one rebound and two assists in 11 minutes.
The Bulls travel to Indianapolis to play the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night at 6 p.m. central.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.