Well that one hurt.
Mike Dunleavy came around that screen, caught the ball near the top, of the key, and fired away. Bank. Good. Damnit.
O.J. Mayo raced down the court and took a contested fall-away floater that came up short, and there went the Bucks shot at sending Bulls fans home upset (which trust me, would have felt really, really good). The Bucks had plenty of chances to put the Bulls away and were up as many as 11 in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls managed to stick around and make just enough shots to steal this one. But life goes on. As they say, sometimes good medicine tastes bad, right?
Giannis Antetokounmpo was very fun to watch tonight. Dunks aside, Giannis played with ridiculous energy. Whether he was influenced by the lively crowd or the surplus of Greek people in attendance or both, Giannis was a hurricane of diving for loose balls, sprinting around all over the place, and yes, dunking. Finishing with 8p/9r on the night, Giannis was (sadly) replaced by Khris Middleton late in the fourth because Middleton is a little more reliable late in the game, but also, Giannis was pretty caught up in the energy and looked to be pretty spent, which I guess is an okay reason to take a guy out of the game.
Gary Neal returned to the lineup after missing the past two games with plantar fasciitis and shot the ball pretty well (5-9, 2-4 from three) in his limited minutes. The Bucks may be hoping for a repeat performance from Neal tomorrow night, as O.J. Mayo may miss the game due to a death in the family. The good news is if Neal is taking a reasonable of shots AND making them like he was tonight, the offense shouldn't evolve into an even stronger dumpster fire tomorrow.
Hobo Ersan Ilyasova was at it again, making only one of seven shots on the evening, the one make being a wide open baseline look. It could be either nagging injuries or the usual Ersan first half slump, but tonight was another ugly outing for Ersan. Coach Larry Drew said before the game that he'd like to get Ersan back in the lineup where he seems to excel, but that he just hasn't seen him get back that step that he had before the slew of injuries. It will definitely take some time for Ersan to get back to that groove considering the geography of his injury, but by then he may not even be in Milwaukee anymore. Weird.
Joakim Noah was dominant in his return to the lineup, contributing 21p/18r/5a. Noah also kept the Bucks guards from driving all the way to the basket for most of the night, and instead made the Bucks settle for awkward contested floaters that couldn't drop consistently. Noah was also effective enough on offense, making contested baskets down low as well as knocking down a few (nasty looking) jumpers.
Mike Dunleavy. Man, it had to end that way, didn't it? Former Buck who had made three free throws earlier after being fouled on a shot by Mayo. I can't believe I didn't see it coming earlier, but there he was, banking in that stupid three to put the Bulls ahead late. I don't know what else to say. Miss you, Funleavy.
Though it was filled with a majority of Bulls fans, tonight was arguably the most electric the BMOHBC had been all season, and the players definitely were feeding off that, as each possession added another layer of frustration and desperation to the atmosphere. It was actually a pretty fun night for a change, considering how many of the enemy packed themselves in to the arena.
Miroslav Raduljica has the most intriguing haircut in the NBA now. Take a look at it next time you see him play.
The (NBA worst 5-18) Bucks head to Dallas to take on their old running mate Monta Ellis and the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow. The Bucks are the only team in the league to not have won on the second leg of these stretches, so the outcome doesn't appear so great.