Recap: Bulls 87 Bucks 86

Box Score / Recap

Yes, preseason. Yes, Bucks/Bulls preseason again. No Derrick Rose. No Andrew Bogut. No real meaning.

Yes, a nice start. Yes, final-minute dramatics. Yes... a Dan Gadzuric fadeaway last-second shot.

No, not kidding. 

I caught an online stream of the game, and I make observations with slightly more varied sentence structure after the jump.

For all of that offseason non-movement that finally culminated in the movement of Ramon Sessions from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, there remain remnants of Ramon reincarnated. For better and worse. Those offseason-rumors about Jennings (2-13 from the field) lacking a consistent jumper aren't just rumors. To be fair though, a few of those misses were of the last-second-heave variety. Thanks for trying, and not worrying about the shooting percentage.

Jennings (10/12/6) made up for the misses in other areas though. His court vision tonight was a very pleasant sight. He greeted halftime with more assists than the entire Bulls team (7-6). And Jennings built on that with more than a few nifty dishes in the second half, including one in which he hauled in a deflection of a block of Ersan Ilyasova's shot, and fed the Turk a laser for an and-one and some redemption. 

Equally encouraging were a few of Jennings' decisive darts to the basket, which resulted in a 6-7 free-throw line, and opened up teammates on the perimeter. If Jennings, like Sessions, learns to hide his limitations and emphasize his strong suits - using speed and awareness to open up others and to attack the hoop for higher percentage chances - he can quickly force his way into regular season, regular minutes, like Sessions.

Granted, I didn't watch the previous game, so this is based on catching Jennings on one of his better nights. And that down-and-up form is surely how the season will go for the almost-20-year-old. So watch them all if you want a true read.

Less news is the best kind of news when it comes to Michael Redd and the preseason, so: He looked crisp early, sank a few nice shots including a three to open the game, played about 15 minutes, and all is well.

Other than Kurt Thomas clanging into and briefly forcing Joakim Noah to the bench, the Bucks were rather hopeless to stop Chicago's man in the middle. Noah piled up a dominant 21 points, 16 boards, and 3 blocks. Obviously this is a scenario where Andrew Bogut's interior defense was sorely missed, but still.

At least Hakim Warrick asserted himself on the offensive end, contributing a team-high 25 points on 9-14 in 32 minutes before fouling out. The points were mostly quiet, but they added up nicely, and no one converted more at the line than Warrick, who hit 7-9. Ilyasova (14/6) was just okay tonight, managing a lot of shots (14) in not a lot of minutes (17) while not making many (5) either.

Back to the beginning, and back to the end, all at once. The Bucks had an opportunity to steal the game on the final possession down by a point, but Brandon Jennings missed an ill-advised, long and contested jumper with about six seconds to go. He has all the makings of a lead point guard, and the confidence is nice, but his shot selection isn't quite yet as nice.

A fortunate tip out of bounds gave the Bucks the ball with inside three seconds. So naturally they found an open Gadz (6 offensive boards in 10 minutes, well done) and the rest of the story is the story headline.

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