Billy Donovan laid out a simple goal for his Bulls players on Sunday.
“Weather” the storm.
“You want to keep pace with teams, but there’s going to be these swings in games,” the Bulls coach said. “It can’t bleed into where it builds up and we start pressing on offense. Where every shot becomes critically important. We have to be able to handle the emotional swings in games.”
That was yet another fail for this roster, as Milwaukee again beat the Bulls in their own backyard, 119-95.
And now the weather moving forward is very cloudy.
The Bulls will face elimination on Wednesday night in Milwaukee, down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series to the defending NBA champions.
They only have themselves to blame.
The first quarter? They checked the boxes they needed to, keeping the United Center crowd into it, and trailing by just three. Zach LaVine looked engaged and his old athletic self with 12 points in the quarter, the defense was doing a better job accounting for shooters, and Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to a quiet five points.
The one disturbing trend? Grayson Allen again feeling way too comfortable with his offense. After lighting up the Bulls for 22 in Game 3, Allen got loose in that opening stanza on Sunday for two baskets, setting the scene on what was to come.
What came was Public Enemy No. 1 in the eyes of Bulls fans finishing with 27 points on 10-for-12 shooting, including 6-of-7 from three.
The same Allen who altered the entire regular season for the Bulls when his Flagrant-2 tackle of Alex Caruso left the best defender on the roster sidelined for months with a fractured right wrist.
Now he was inflicting pain again, this time with his shooting.