Mustangs Visit the Madhouse on Madison
by Caroline Merck
The Madhouse on Madison is the famous home of both the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls. Both of their respective seasons started off on the road, but the Chicago’s sports fans never disappoint and packed the United Center for the Bulls preseason opener.
The Bulls were 1-1 through two preseason games before they facing the Milwaukee Bucks. Going into the game, the Bucks were 0-2, losing to both the Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks. On Friday Oct. 6, the Bulls hosted the Bucks in a matchup that made for an exciting game.
The Bulls have a lot of rebuilding to do this year, especially after trading all-star Jimmy Butler. Coach Fred Hoiberg is known for using different starting lineups, and Friday was no exception. Both Jerian Grant and Nikola Mirotic made their second start. Robin Lopez, Paul Zipser, John Henson rounded out the rest of the starters.
The Bulls jumped out to an early lead thanks to the play of Zipser and Kris Dunn. However, the Bucks made a late push, and, because of their star player Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks pulled ahead 27-24 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter began with some controversy. Bucks small forward Khris Middleton was called for traveling. The arguments from the Bucks led to a technical foul, but also led to a more physical contest. Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine continued to battle back and forth with Middleton and Antetokounmpo. Although the Bucks were playing well, the Bulls never gave up and continued to push onward. With eight seconds left in the half, Mirotic knocked down a three pointer, giving the Bulls a 60-56 lead at the half.
The Chicago Luvabulls and the Jesse White Tumbling Team gave jaw-dropping halftime performances. Because of the excitement, the crowd was more fired up than before, ready for the Bulls to be more aggressive and cheered harder for their team to bring home a win.
In the third quarter, the Bulls took a significant lead thanks to the shooting of Mirotic and Zipser. Middleton fought back with key rebounds and baskets, but the Bucks could not recover, and found themselves down 89-77 at the end of the third.
The Bulls were unrelenting in the forth, not wanting to blow their lead. Finishing strongly, Chicago never let up its fight. Because of their free-throw shooting, the Bulls managed to extend their lead to over twenty points. It soon became clear that the Bucks could not come back, and the game resulted in a 114-101 win for the Bulls.
Although the Bucks lost, the player of the game was hands down Antetokounmpo. After playing 23 minutes total, he had four rebounds, two assists, and 24 points. Without Antetokounmpo, the Bucks would have fallen apart. The star player for Chicago was Justin Holiday, who had four rebounds, three assists and 21 points and played 28 minutes
Overall it was an exciting night at the United Center. Since this is expected to be a rebuilding year for the Bulls, there is a lot of young, exciting talent on the court, and with that a lot of excitement. After the win against the Bucks, though, expectations for competitiveness in the league this year may be a bit higher.