Posted November 23, 2012 on
AP on Fox
A visit to Milwaukee might be exactly what the Chicago Bulls need to end their longest slide in 2 1/2 years.
The Bulls can avoid a fourth consecutive loss Saturday night with a ninth straight win over the Central Division-leading Bucks.
Chicago (5-6) opened its five-game trip with a 112-106 overtime win at Phoenix, but has since dropped three in a row for the first time since a 10-game skid from Feb. 27-March 19, 2010. A 93-89 defeat at Houston on Wednesday dropped the Bulls below .500 for the first time since Nov. 5, 2010, when they were 2-3.
The Bulls have not dropped four straight on the road since a six-game slide Feb. 22-March 17, 2010.
"There are a lot of things we need to do,'' said forward Luol Deng, who had 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Rockets. "We've just got to put a whole 48 minutes together, just got to stay mentally strong. We've got to get a win and get it rolling again.''
Though the Bulls allowed fewer than 100 points for the first time five games, they are yielding an average of 94.1 minus injured star Derrick Rose and with six new players this season. Chicago gave up an NBA-low 88.2 points per contest while going an Eastern Conference-best 50-16 in 2011-12.
"Our defense is not what it used to be,'' said forward Joakim Noah, who has recorded 31 points in the last three games after scoring 21 against the Suns. "It's not what it was last year, that's for sure. We have to do better. Losing three in a row is unacceptable. We're better than that.''
Chicago has been very good lately against the Bucks (6-4), winning the last eight meetings by an average 11.1 points. The Bulls won their fourth straight in Milwaukee when Rose sank a 20-footer at the buzzer for a 106-104 victory March 7.
With Rose still recovering from a torn ACL, the Bulls will need someone else to step up if they are to continue their success in this series. Diminutive reserve guard Nate Robinson could be that person after scoring 39 over the last two games.
Milwaukee returns home - where it's won its last two contests - but is trying to avoid a third straight defeat overall after losing 102-98 at Charlotte on Monday and 113-106 in overtime at Miami on Wednesday. Rookie John Henson had 17 points with 18 rebounds off the bench as Milwaukee overcame an 18-point deficit to force overtime.
"Small margin of error against that team,'' Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "And we still had a shot to win the game. It just didn't go in.''
Only 42.2 percent of Milwaukee's 109 shots went in. It was the most attempted by the Bucks since the 116 in a 138-133 overtime win over Golden State on March 8, 2003.
Monta Ellis averages a team-leading 20.2 points but hopes to bounce back after he was held to a season-low nine on 4-of-16 shooting against the Heat. Though Ellis is facing the Bulls for the first as a member of the Bucks, he averaged 27.7 and 49.0 percent shooting in his last seven against them while with Golden State.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- A quick glance at the schedule shows Saturday night's game between NBA Central Division rivals Milwaukee and Chicago will be played at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Monday's game between the two teams is scheduled for the United Center in Chicago.
So why are the Bucks are preparing for two road games in three days against the Bulls?
Well, the short drive...
MILWAUKEE -- Initially, Brandon Jennings feared the worst.
With 23.1 seconds left, Jennings came down on the foot of a Chicago defender while trying to make a play to keep his team alive in what turned out to be a 93-86 loss. The Bucks point guard was down, seemingly in severe pain. He didn't put any weight on his injured left ankle while two of his teammates helped him off...
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- When a player is mired in a prolonged slump, sometimes simply working through it is the best solution.
Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova is in a rut. It happens. Maybe he's trying too hard to live up to the contract he signed in the offseason, maybe that has nothing to do with it. Whatever it is, Bucks coach Scott Skiles is faced with a dilemma. He has to walk...
BULL ON PARADE
Hopefully, all of that turkey from your Thanksgiving meal won't leave your head spinning like Bulls guard Nate Robinson did to the Houston Rockets.Check out this spinning lay-up that Nate accomplished in the fourth quarter of play:
MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- During the Bulls' recent struggles, Carlos Boozer has seen his minutes dwindle, especially late in games, and has been a lightning rod of sorts for frustrated fans. But his effort Saturday could be a sign of better things to come. Boozer scored 22 points and pulled down a season-high 19 rebounds -- recording his fourth double-double in the last five games...
MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Carlos Boozer had a big night for Chicago, scoring 22 points with 19 rebounds, his fourth double-double in the last five games, as the Bulls pulled away late for a 93-86 victory Saturday at Milwaukee. Along with Boozer, Rip Hamilton scored 22 points and Luol Deng added 14 as the Bulls got back to the .500 mark and beat the Bucks for the fifth straight time in...
Samuel Dalembert isn’t exactly revered for his passing skills, but Wednesday night’s game between the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks, he had this pretty between-the-legs assist that makes for a great highlight. The Heat would have the final laugh as they defeated the Bucks 113-106 in OT.The post Samuel Dalembert Between-The-Legs Assist To Monta Ellis (Video) appeared first...
Ersan Ilyasova signed a four-year, $32 million contract over the offseason.