Bucks heading home with confidence: 'Now it's our turn'


Bucks heading home with confidence: 'Now it's our turn'

The Milwaukee Bucks are 0-16 all-time in playoff series in which they lose the first two games. But these Bucks are determined to break that streak.

They find themselves in this situation after dropping Game 2 on Monday, two days after a 12-point loss in the series opener.

But despite returning to Milwaukee without a win, Jason Kidd's group is confident they can replicate the Bulls' home success in Games 3 and 4.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

"Hell yeah," said O.J. Mayo, when asked if they still believe they can stay competitive. "It’s a playoff series. (The Bulls) did what they were supposed to do. They got home court advantage, they won two games. Go back to Milwaukee and we’ve got to take care of business.

"We tried to come in here and steal one and they protected home. Now it’s our turn."

They still have obvious kinks to work out, specifically better ball movement, but they leave Chicago on somewhat of a high note, being within two possessions late in their Game 2 loss after playing even with the Bulls through a half in Game 1. In the first two games, they forced the Bulls into 34 turnovers, limited All-Star Pau Gasol with suffocating double-teams and, for a team with four core players making their playoff debuts, got their first taste of postseason basketball.

They posted a 23-18 home record in the regular season, including a 95-91 win over the Bulls on April 1. Derrick Rose hadn't yet returned from knee surgery in that contest, but the Bucks owned the glass in that game, got positive contributions from Michael Carter-Williams (21 points) and Mayo (13 points) and closed with a strong fourth quarter to earn the victory.

[RELATED: Bucks get physical in attempt to swing series vs. Bulls]

That win was a learning experience, as were Games 1 and 2 in this series. Leading scorer Khris Middleton said after the game that the Bucks were noticeably better on Monday than they were on Saturday, and that he expected that to continue in Game 3.

"We lost these two, but we're going to fight to get this series back," he said. "We're going to defend our home court on Thursday."

Monte Harrison, brother to Bulls' Shaq, makes sibling sports history

Monte Harrison, brother to Bulls' Shaq, makes sibling sports history

Miami Marlins center fielder Monte Harrison made a bit of history on Aug. 4, when he laced up for his first ever MLB game.

With his debut, he and older brother Shaq officially became just the sixth MLB-NBA brother duo in league history. The most recent? Klay and Trayce Thompson, the latter of which appeared in his last MLB game on June 20, 2018 for the White Sox. Chicago ties all around.

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Shaq used his trademark brand of heart and hustle to work his way up from two 10-day contracts with the Phoenix Suns to a multi-year pact with the Bulls. Monte's path to the majors began in 2014 after the Milwaukee Brewers plucked him in the second round of the Amateur Draft from Lee's Summit West High School in Lee's Summit, Mo. He was jettisoned to Miami as part of the Christian Yelich trade in 2018. 

In 2019, Monte played 58 games between Miami's High-A and Triple-A affiliates, slashing .270/.351/.441 with 9 home runs, 24 RBI and 23 stolen bases. He's been known to flash some leather, too, and entered this season the club's tenth-ranked prospect.

Since his call-up, he's appeared in four contests (three starts) with the Marlins, and is just 1-for-10 at the plate with five strikeouts. But we'll forgive some early-career stumbles. His first big-league base-knock, which came on Thursday, was perfectly emblematic of what Bulls fans have come to expect from the Harrison household.

Yup. A cue-shot infield single. Exit velocity: 44.3 mph. Expected batting average: .190. But he beat it out. And followed it up with a stolen base. You can't script this stuff.

"I don’t know what my mother did, a lot of prayers, a lot of believing, and trust in us," Monte said after his debut on Tuesday, via Bob Nightengale. "We just worked our ass off.''

That much is evident.

RELATED: How Bulls’ Shaq Harrison impacts games, even with limited playing time


Latest on the NBA's second bubble for teams eliminated from restart

Latest on the NBA's second bubble for teams eliminated from restart

With the NBA restarting with 22 of its 30 teams, there was buzz in early July of a second bubble coming to Chicago for the eight teams excluded to get in organized team activities and possibly scrimmages.

Now, it appears those talks have significantly slowed, if not stalled entirely.

The Athletic reported Tuesday that there is "significant doubt" the second bubble concept will come to fruition, but Friday, that bringing the "Delete Eight" teams into the Disney campus has been discussed. Any agreement — whether it be a full-on bubble or respective, in-market OTAs — would require stringent safety protocols and need to be agreed upon by the league and NBPA.

On the most recent episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast, NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson broke down the latest scuttlebut:

Well, the latest is, you really got only one shared goal between these eight teams and that is to get some kind of formal group activities authorized by the league and the players association.

How that plays out and the form that takes, there are different goals. There are some teams that wouldn't mind doing a bubble. There are other teams that would rather stay in their own practice facilities and not travel. There are other teams that want to do regional scrimmages against another team. And complicating this is that Michele Roberts, the executive director of the players association, is on record as saying: Unless there are the exact same safety protocols going on in Orlando for the second bubble, it's a non-starter for her.

The league's attention mostly has been in Orlando, obviously, and that was a signficant financial undertaking. So you'd also have to factor in that, what kind of financial undertaking would they commit to these eight teams. It did look like there was some positive momentum for, not a bubble, but for each team to be able to hold some sort of offseason training sessions, group sessions in their own facilities, like OTAs in the NFL.

And I don't think that's dead, but there's certainly not as much optimism as there was maybe a week, ten days ago for that. I mean, it's fluid, and there's nothing definitive yet, but you may be staring at that dreaded eight month window between formal group activities for these eight teams. 

In the episode, the crew also breaks down the week in NBA bubble action, talks Jim Boylen and more. Listen here or via the embedded player below: