GAME NIGHT FROM MILWAUKEE: Bulls (10-22, 3-14 on the road) at Bucks (17-14, 11-5 at home)
TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King. Tipoff: 7PM
RADIO: WLS 890 AM : Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul. 6:30PM pre.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Niko Mirotic : 17ppg. Bucks : Giannis Antetokounmpo: 29ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Lauri Markkanen: 7. Bucks: Antetokounmpo: 10.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Kris Dunn: 5. Bucks: Antetokounmpo 4.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 15 in Milwaukee: Bulls 115 Bucks 109. Bobby Portis scored a career high 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Niko Mirotic had 22 points and 8 rebounds, and Milwaukee shot 27% from 3 point range (9-33).
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Bulls proved in the last meeting they can run with the Bucks and they can score on the Bucks. The Bucks have potent offensive stars; a legit MVP candidate in Giannis, a terrific wing scorer in Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe who can take it to the rim or pull up for a mid-range jumper. If the Bucks are to go anywhere in the playoffs their bench must play better, simple as that.
The Bulls hit a speed bump in playing the Cavs and Celtics on the road but not many teams would come away with even a split in that scenario. What the Bulls can do is take the positive of nearly six quarters of solid basketball and apply it to tonight’s game. The Bulls offensive pacing the past several weeks has been superb and the players are totally buying in. This is an entertaining group to watch and it’s going to get better when Zach Lavine returns to the active roster. Good days are ahead for the “Baby Bulls."
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Twitter world exploded as NBA fans were dissecting the Cavs-Warriors game at crunch time on a few non-calls that didn’t favor LeBron James. Golden State won at home over the Cavs as Draymond Green recorded a triple -double. Officiating is tough. it’s even tougher when a replay can be shown in slower multiple angles and you’ve got 20-thousand fans and broadcasters calling you out over an apparent blown call. In no particular order, I think coaching/officiating are the two toughest jobs in the NBA. Ok, working with Bill Wennington is right up there! Kidding, LOL.
Synergy Sports details that Kevin Durant is allowing 22% shooting defending in one on one situations this season. Wowza!
Bradley Beal and John Wall combined for 46 points in Washington’s road win in Boston. The Celtics are 5-6 in their last 11 games.
Philaderlphia’s Joel Embiid made his MSG debut and what a debut it was….25-16-3 blocks…as the 76ers beat the Knicks. Enes Kanter scored 31 points and grabbed 22 rebounds for NY. The Knicks play the Bulls tomorrow at the UC.
After winning 14 straight, Houston has now dropped three in a row. OKC’s big three took over. The Thunder are starting to figure it out.
The Lakers will be without Lonzo Ball for a week with a shoulder injury. Minnesota won in LA behind a strong 21-10-4 blk. from KAT.
The Lakers participated on Christmas for the 19th consecutive season.