The Bulls match up well with the Bucks, but they have to get Derrick Rose right again.
Pau Gasol had 20 points and 15 rebounds for Chicago, which snapped a three-game skid.
Butler is averaging 20.1 points and 6.0 rebounds in a league-high 39.5 minutes per game.
One after another, teams trotted into rowdy Oracle Arena the past two months confident they could cool off the NBA’s hottest team on their home floor. It took 113 points, 53 minutes and one big shot from a former MVP to finally make it happen.
Gasol has found fulfillment on and off the court in Chicago.
Gasol is averaging 18.7 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
“We know what we have to do, but we can’t keep talking about it,” Jimmy Butler says.
Tom Thibodeau has a lot of options in his frontcourt.
This will be on the highlight reel for a long time to come.
Chicago’s defensive identity has been missing in action too often this season.
“I am upset,” Pau Gasol says.
“We just got to have that dog mentality again,” Taj Gibson says.
The Bulls are set up to make a real run for the first time in the Thibodeau era, if they stay healthy.
Gasol scored a career-high 46 points and added 18 rebounds in Chicago’s win Saturday.
Gasol is in line to start the All-Star Game on Feb. 15 in New York City.
It’s nice when Chicago teams live up to expectations and act professionally.
“I’m having fun,” Pau Gasol says.
“The guys around this locker room, all we worry about is winning,” Jimmy Butler says.
“It’s a different way he’s letting us play,” Derrick Rose says of Tom Thibodeau.
“Sometimes it’s nice to have a Bentley, but a Honda Accord will get you there as well,” Mike Dunleavy says.