Richard Hamilton is out again with an aggravated groin issue. The Bulls have listed him as day to day, and they have also upgraded Luol Deng’s status to day-to-day, although he would be out, indefinitely, for tonights meeting against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Along with Brewer filling in the starting line-up, Kyle Korver started the game. It was his first start since 2009. While the statsheet didn’t do Kyle Justice, his presence alone allowed the Bulls to keep the floor spread all game long. With Bucks center, Andrew Bogut out with an ankle fracture, there was no excuse for the Bulls to make things happen in the paint.
Joakim Noah took advantage of the small matchup from Milwaukee. He had his arguably best game of the season. He played smart on and off the ball and didn’t try to force passes into traffic. He nabbed 16 rebounds, 8 of them offensively. He provided a one half of the run killing efforts to curb Milwaukee’s best attempt at striking a comeback.
Brandon Jennings caught fire in the first half, marking Milwaukee’s main source of offense. He managed to get a lot of difficult cuts inside. Somewhere along the lines, Derrick had to have taken this personally, because he made the first half into a one-on-one game. Jennings scored 18, with Rose scoring 16 in the half.
The main difference, was Rose staying hot in the second half. Jennings disappeared, while Bucks rookie Jon Leuer caught the Bulls off guard. He scored 9-11 from the field, but that wasn’t enough to carry the Bucks into the lead. Rose and Noah continued to dominate the inside-outside game, proving too much for the Bucks.
Derrick Rose scored a season high, 34 points. Joakim Noah finished the game with 15 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks, and he was absolutely clutch defensively.
As for the Bulls rookie, Jimmy Butler, who is speculated to get a big bump in playing time due to the injury report. He only saw 7 minutes of action, but he was pure hustle and didn’t make any critical mistakes. The team looked comfortable with Butler on the floor, and Butler looked hungry to contribute in any area needed. He did have trouble containing Stephen Jackson, which is expected with a veteran-rookie matchup. The outlook continues to look promising for the Bulls and Butler.
The Bulls defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 107-100 and move to 17-4 for the season.
Next Game: Sunday, January 29th at the Miami Heat. Tip off at 2:30PM CST
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