10 observations: Shorthanded Bulls fall short of upset vs. Bucks

Playing without Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball and most of their power forward depth chart, the Chicago Bulls (28-16) fell just short of a seismic road win on Friday, falling to the Milwaukee Bucks (29-19) in a 94-90 rock fight.

Here are 10 observations:

1. When the Bulls announced 30 minute before tipoff that Tyler Cook was to make his first start of the season – taking the power forward spot Alfonzo McKinnie has held the last three games – it was obvious head coach Billy Donovan planned to hand him the Giannis Antetokounmpo defensive assignment.

And indeed, it was Cook checking the reigning MVP when the game began. Cook picked up two fouls in the first five minutes of the game, three by halftime, four through three quarters, and his fifth early in the fourth. And Antetokounmpo broke loose for 30 points.

But give Cook, a two-way player who returned from an ankle sprain just one game ago, credit for this: He didn’t back down, and had some highlight plays of his own, including a rip-away steal and multiple offensive foul draws. Plus, he supplied his typical energy on the glass, pulling down seven rebounds, and dunked home four points. His minutes were more than solid given the circumstances.

2. These teams entered play first (Bulls) and seventh (Bucks) in the NBA in 3-point percentage – and the Bucks second in 3-pointers made per game. So it was a surprise…

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