MILWAUKEE — Going into Game 6, the Bulls were either going to let the Bucks back into the series to force a Game 7 or put their foot down and stop delaying the inevitable.
They chose the latter, in a big way. Their 54-point blowout of the Bucks came within four points shy of the NBA record margin for a playoff win. They led for all 48 minutes, put up 120 points on the league’s second-best defense, and provided a glimpse of just how good they can be when they’re locked in. It was certainly a change of pace from the last two games, where the Bucks disrupted everything the Bulls were trying to do offensively.
“You’ve got to give [the Bucks] credit,” Joakim Noah said after the game. “It wasn’t easy the way they played us. They have a lot of players that can switch on pick-and-rolls, which wasn’t something that we were really used to. But I felt like overall our edge was great from start to finish. Our defense was tough from the get-go. Everybody really stepped up. I think everybody played well.”
A few numbers to drive home how lopsided this game was:
- Every Bulls starter scored in double figures. No Bucks player scored in double figures, period.
- The Bulls nearly doubled the Bucks’ made field goals, shooting 46-of-90 while Milwaukee shot 25-for-76.
- The Bulls scored 50 points in the paint, while the Bucks scored 66 points total.
- The Bulls had more assists (31) than the Bucks had made field goals (31).
This is the Bulls team that was pegged as a title contender before the start of the season. They had it all: defense, ball movement, shooting.
Now, the real work begins.