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Game Thread: Bulls/Bucks

The last time Sessions started against the Bulls...

 

vs.

 
23-30 (9-19 road)

27-29 (16-9 home)
February 18, 2009 - 7:05PM CT
Bradley Center
Radio: 620 WTMJ   TV: FS Wisconsin

Probable starters:

Derrick Rose
PG Ramon Sessions
Ben Gordon
SG Luc Mbah a Moute
Luol Deng
SF Richard Jefferson
Tyrus Thomas
PF Charlie Villanueva
Joakim Noah
C Francisco Elson
106.1 (23rd)
Off 107.5 (17th)
 108.0 (17th)
Def 107.1 (13th)
93.2 (9th)
Pace 91.6 (15th)
28.1 (9th)
OReb 28.6 (7th)
71.6 (24th)
DReb  74.3 (11th)

 

08/09 Series:

Oct 30: @Bulls 108, Bucks 95

Dec 3: @Bucks 97, Bulls 90

Injuries

Bulls: Drew Gooden is out with a groin strain.

Bucks: Michael Redd is out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL. Andrew Bogut is out with a stress fracture in his lower back. Luke Ridnour is out with a broken thumb.

Three Points

  • Point-on-Point.  Per 40 minutes, one of the starting point guards in tonight's game averages 18.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg while posting a TS% of 53.8% and PER of 17.92.  The other averages 18.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 6.9 apg on 51.5% TS and a PER of 16.12.  Care to guess which one is Ramon Sessions and which one is future superstar Derrick Rose?  Yep, it's the 22-year old Sessions putting up the better numbers per minute, though I won't go so far as to suggest he's a better long-term prospect than the 20-year old Rose.  But still...who'd have thought, right?

    In truth, Rose deserves a ton of credit for taking the reigns of a mostly confused Bulls team, especially given the pressure he's faced from day one and the lack of leadership being offered by rookie head coach Vinny Del Negro.  In contrast, Sessions has been able to develop more slowly under the watchful eye of Scott Skiles, biding his time perhaps unfairly behind a solid veteran starter in Luke Ridnour.  But with Ridnour out it's been all business for Sessions, as he's now averaging 24.2 ppg, 9.8 apg, and 5.6 rpg in five games this month.  
  • Baby Bulls.  That phrase was first coined when the Bulls drafted high schoolers Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler in 2001, but it seems the Bulls have been in a perpetual youth movement ever since.  Their current starting lineup boasts a quintet of former top-10 picks all younger than 25, and Del Negro hadn't coached at any level before assuming the position last summer. 

    So it's perhaps not surprising, with the exception of Rose, that most of the Bulls' promise has been slow to develop.  Luol Deng's production has cratered since signing a huge extension last summer, but fortunately Tyrus Thomas has finally woken up a bit this month, averaging 17.8 ppg and 10.6 rpg.  Joakim Noah is also finally getting consistent minutes, though I can never tell how much of that is because his coach didn't know what he was doing and how much of that was his own attitude problem.  Ben Gordon is doing what he always does--score 20 ppg and otherwise mostly just be undersized--and should be an interesting matchup for Luc Mbah a Moute, who twice locked up Rodney Stuckey in the past week.
  • Home/road.  The Bucks have 16 of their final 26 games at home, which should make things a bit simpler as they try to hang on to their slim two game lead for the 8th and final playoff spot.  Still, it's not to say the Bucks' schedule is easy: home games against Cleveland and Denver are looming, followed by tough road games in Dallas and New Orleans. 

Coverage:

Bucks.com / Ted Davis Podcast / Blog-a-Bull / Bulls Beat / Bulls By the Horns