If the Chicago Bulls were allowed to play only one half, this would have been one heck of a ballgame.
Heading into the locker room, the Bulls were down only 55-52 to the Milwaukee Bucks. Indeed, only about two minutes earlier, the Bulls actually held a 52-51 lead over the best team in the NBA thanks to a crafty drive to the hoop from rookie Coby White.
MAKE HIM LOOK SILLY, BOY!
Lauri Markkanen and White traded highlight plays to make for an entertaining and competitive first two quarters. However, the Bucks came out with an agenda in the second half, one that read “just play like the freaking Bucks.”
The Bucks are shooting 70% (23/33) from the field in the second half.
— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) December 31, 2019
From that moment on, the game was basically wrapped up. All things considered, several individual players still managed to have a fine performance.
- White finished with a fearless 18 points and 4 steals.
- Markkanen had 18 with five made 3-pointers (he only shot 12 times though, which needs to be higher).
- Tomas Satoransky scored in double-digits for the 5th-straight game and dished out 7 assists.
- Wendell Carter Jr. had his 15th double-double of the season.
- Zach LaVine had 19 points (but he also shot 7-23 from the field, which isn’t worth much praise).
All in all, some of the encouraging things we saw over this month did show up in this game, but this team just isn’t built to keep up with a squad like the Bucks (and, quite frankly, not many teams in the NBA are). Now, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything the Bulls should have done a lot better. The team had just 8 free throw attempts during the entire game compared to the Bucks 24. When the Bulls got the game as close as they did in the second quarter, getting to the line should have been a priority (if it wasn’t already) to try and control the pace.
Overall, I’m not mad about this loss nor does this change any opinion I have on this team right now, good or bad. The Bulls can’t hang with the Bucks, and that was a fact we knew before the season even started. I’m just glad we got a decent first half to watch.