A 27-point third quarter deficit on the road? Against a team that the Bucks had lost nine straight against? Turns out the Bucks had the Bulls right where they wanted them. Ersan Ilyasova, Ekpe Udoh, Beno Udrih and the Bucks' bench led a near-impossible comeback to eke out a much-needed win in Chicago, snapping the Bucks' three game losing streak and assuring them at least a couple more days atop the Central Division standings.
Caught your breath yet?
More than a few Bucks fans probably turned off their TVs after the Bucks' starters trudged their way to a 78-51 deficit midway through the third quarter on Monday, but it's like the old saying goes: it's the NBA, everybody makes a run.
Of course, everybody definitely doesn't make a 31-4 run, yet that's precisely what the Bucks' bench pulled off between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters. Chicago's commanding lead evaporated in less than eight minutes of clock time, and the Bucks got enough breaks in the closing minutes--some owing to hard work, others to luck--to complete the comeback and end multiple losing streaks: the nine game skid they had against the Bulls and the overall three game streak that they brought into the game.
The revival of Ersan Ilyasova understandably took top billing--his season-high 18 points included 12 in the fourth quarter alone, which remarkably (and sadly) is more than he'd posted in any of the previous eleven games total. Yeesh. Special kudos also go to Ekpe Udoh, Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb and Mike Dunleavy, who combined to play the final 15 minutes and turn garbage time into...uh, winning time?
- JS | Udoh, Udrih key cogs on the Bucks' bench
Charles Gardner shows some love for two of the key characters in the Bucks' big win on Monday, and Beno drops some interesting comments about why the bench mob got it done.
"Me and Mike, we like to play with each other," Udrih said of Dunleavy. "We just like to move around, cut to the basket. Sometimes even when you cut to the basket and you don't get the ball or you're not open, you get somebody else open.This is basically verbatim what Steve was talking about in our podcast yesterday--put a bunch of high IQ guys together and good things happen.
"We just try to play movement basketball. That's why Ers got a couple wide-open shots, too. It was great to see him play well and great to see Doron come out and make a couple shots.
"Everybody did stuff that mattered. That's why we got a win."
- FS Wisconsin | Drew Gooden's offer leaves Bull fan flush with tickets
Drew Gooden: not playing, but still making noise.
- WSSP | Larry Sanders and John Henson on the Big Show
Nothing really earth-shattering here, but Henson and Sanders talk a bit about Twitter, adjusting to the NBA, and the chemistry of this Bucks' squad. Also: kudos to WSSP and the Bucks for helping out with the Children's Hospital Toy Drive.
- Woelfel | Gooden on trade block
News flash: a guy with a fat contract who can't get into the Bucks' rotation is available via trade! Shocking, I know. The Bucks couldn't trade Gooden after his career season last summer, so I'm not sure what's going to change now that he's completely out of the rotation, but...yeah. Please direct all offers to John Hammond.
- FS Wisconsin | Sanders goes Hollywood
Andrew Gruman reports on Sanders' new movie, in which he flexes his acting skills by playing a basketball player.