When the Chicago Bulls were last at the United Center, players were booed loudly by their own fans during the loss of an embarrassing explosion to the Charlotte Hornets.
I think the atmosphere when I come back for the first time in two weeks on Friday night is quite different. 114-110 pulsating victory over Milwaukee Bucks Equalized the first round series for each game.
“Bulls fans are hungry for home playoff games there,” said Nikola Vucevic. “They have had great relationships with us throughout the season, so I can’t imagine what the playoffs will look like.”
Vucevic recalled a glimpse of what he was doing when he was a newcomer to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012. He didn’t mention that UC was rocking for most of the game until Derrick Rose suffered a knee injury, removed the wind from the stadium with one minute left in the fourth quarter, and changed the future of the franchise. It was that.
The top-seeded Bulls lost the series and never had a dominant team again. The Friday match is their first home playoff game since 2017, and suddenly fans have optimistic reasons. This was a shortage after the Bulls finished their regular season. They set foot in the playoffs, losing an average of 19 points to the Miami Heat, Bucks, Boston Celtics and Hornets in the last four home games.
After DeMar DeRozan’s Big Three, Zach LaVine and Vucevic respectively I wasn’t shot well in the series-Opening Loss On Sunday, they made all the right moves on Wednesday and sent a message to the defending champion. DeRozan took the lead with 41 points, shooting 53.2% (33 out of 62) in total. If they can continue that kind of shooting, Bucks may be participating in a street fight that they didn’t expect a few days ago.
And when Chris Middleton’s status emerges in the air after suffering from a sprained MCL, Bucks may be facing some sort of adversity that can change the complexion of the playoff series. They now know that Bulls’ defense has returned to its early form, Alex Caruso is healthy, and he was a destructive force before the Grayson Allen incident broke his wrist. increase.
Is this the old bulls? Or is it just a mirage?
“Getting out of the All-Star Break, the teams we played, the way we played, and especially the last four home games weren’t us at all in the regular season,” Billy Donovan said after Game 2. .. It was a pity how we played. We felt better. “
The match on Wednesday wasn’t big because the Bulls won. It was the way they won that opened their eyes a lot in the league.
After the 18-point lead dropped to 3 near the end of the third quarter, Caruso gave Vucevic a slam, DeRozan hit 17 footers, added a pair of free throws, and a quarter with an advantage of 87-80. Was finished. Vucevic was third and fourth, followed by DeRozan with a midrange pull-up jumper, and Vucevic hit a turnaround fade away to bring the lead back to 16.
“That’s what you have to be able to do,” Donovan said. “By playing against some of these high-level teams at the end of the year, I think we’ve grown, grown, improved, and gained that spirit. Play.
“When we played against a good team this year, when it started to go a little in the opposite direction, we didn’t have enough to go in our direction. Especially in the playoffs, we need to be able to do that. . “
DeRozan said the team talked about “not coming out inadequately” in half-time.
“We had a lot of games this year and we played in the third quarter and laid eggs,” he said. “This time, I tried to understand that moment.”
Donovan puts a heavy load on the five starters. Knowing that the season is approaching, we don’t have time to see if bench players can step up in the long run. This means more Caruso and less Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White.
Caruso not only defensively clamped, but also had 10 assists and 1 turnover, with 3.7 seconds remaining. DeRozan’s driving layup gave the Bulls a five-point lead with 18 seconds remaining, basically sealing the result.
Caruso admitted that the team was “in the hole” at the end of the regular season and was thinking about the playoffs rather than the job at hand.
“We regained our spirit and talked to each other about the opportunities in front of us,” he said.
Caruso repeated the commonly used line that “probably shouldn’t play” if he couldn’t get up in the playoffs.
But the real question was not whether the Bulls could get up into the playoffs, but whether the Bulls reversed the course, defeated the team that dominated them in the regular season, and won all four games. Sunday’s defeat was ugly, but the Bulls counterattacked and showed that they weren’t going to lie down.
They started Game 2 with a 9-0 run. This is the opposite of the 9-point hole we put in to start Game 1. Five players hit three in the opening quarter, and the Bulls hit 48% of the three-point attempts (12 of 25) for the game.
In a series of ups and downs, they finally regained Mojo at the right time. Not a series is created in one game, and the Bulls still have a lot to prove before letting everyone forget how to end the season.
And, of course, it was led by DeRozan. He then joked that he “sneaked” into the Fiserv Forum to practice shooting after the performance of Game 1.
“The electricity was already on,” he said. “They just disappeared when I left.”
Even in this Bulls season, the lights are still on, contrary to all possibilities. And now it will be really interesting.
The Chicago Bulls’ gritty efforts in winning Game 2 give Milwaukee Bucks something to worry about – Reading Eagle
Source link The Chicago Bulls’ gritty efforts in winning Game 2 give Milwaukee Bucks something to worry about – Reading Eagle