Jennings bests Robinson in battle of scorers


Jennings bests Robinson in battle of scorers

In a matchup of undersized, shoot-first point guards, Milwaukees Brandon Jennings proved to Nate Robinson that having to shoulder an entire teams offensive burden on a nightly basis is a little bit different than igniting a squad for a quarter at a time.

Jennings went off for 35 points, including five three-pointers, Wednesday night in the Bucks 106-94 win over the Bulls at the United Center, 20 of which he scored in the third quarter. Robinson countered with 19, a respectable total, but 13 of those points were in the opening period, during which everything was seemingly going the Bulls way and Jennings was scoreless.

After a second quarter that saw the Bulls maintain a comfortable winning margin over the visitors, everything changed. Following the intermission, Jennings looked like a man possessed, hitting four triples in the period and even staring down the Bulls bench, doing his imitation of Robinsons post-basket airplane celebration to add further insult.

A little trash talking before the second half. I guess he felt like he had it going, he was getting the best of me, so I dont really take trash talking too kindly because I dont do a lot of trash talking. But I warned him, so hey, it happens, the fourth-year pro explained afterwards. I got ticked off at halftime and right from the jump, I just started attacking and thats just something I have to do more often, just keep attacking and having a short memory.

Bucks interim head coach Jim Boylan added: "I think the whole team played well, but obviously Brandon offensively really got it going.

I dont know what set him off. Two guys that like to talk a lot, you put them in a room together, somethings going to happen, he continued. Nate had it going for a while in the first half. Brandon, sometimes that gets his motor going a little bit. He went back at him and theyll face each other again, do it again some other time.

While Jennings didnt singlehandedly beat the Bulls Milwaukees 15 blocked shots had a lot to do with the loss its rare that a Tom Thibodeau-coached team allows one player to put on a virtuoso performance of that magnitude. Still, the Bulls head coach refused to specifically blame Robinson.

You let a guy get into rhythm and youre playing off his body, youre not stopping anyone like that, Thibodeau said. Its a competitive game. Some guys do it and theyre fine. To me, if you do it and thats the way you are and youre not distracted Id prefer to just concentrate on doing your job. There were a lot of things that we could have done better. You win together and you lose together, so we have to make the necessary corrections and get ready for New York.

For his part, the emotional Robinson accepted some responsibility for his role in the defeat, as the Bulls again surrendered a double-digit lead this time, it was 15 points and in the first half, as opposed to 27 points late in the game, which is what happened in November to Milwaukee at the United Center.

Tonight, we beat ourselves. Brandon Jennings had a hot period. It happens, he acknowledged in a solemn Bulls locker room. Its just part of the game. Nobody wants to get scored on, but its a team game. You cant get caught up in playing one-on-one, so for us, weve just got to continue to play hard.

It happens all the time, Robinson continued, when asked about Jennings mocking him, before addressing the trash talk that clearly occurred on the floor. A couple little dirty plays exchanged, but nothing to complain about. Its basketball.

Bulls: Rajon Rondo calls incident with assistant coach 'part of the game'

Bulls: Rajon Rondo calls incident with assistant coach 'part of the game'

AUBURN HILLS, MICH—Rajon Rondo almost made it to the quarter mark of the season without incident, but his frustrations got the better of him in Dallas last weekend in a situation with Bulls assistant coach Jim Boylen.

He returned from his one-game suspension in a light mood, but didn’t take things lightly when addressing questions from the media after the Bulls’ 102-91 loss to Detroit.

Rondo admitted that he feels so strongly about things that he doesn’t let them go as easily as he should, which could have been the case with Boylen. Rondo threw a towel after an exchange with Boylen during the Bulls’ blowout loss to the Mavericks.

“That’s a good way to put it. Me as a player, a point guard, I have to handle a situation better,” Rondo said. “But when I feel a certain way, I’m gonna speak on it. My whole thing is always for the betterment of the team.

“If it comes off wrong or a certain way I’ll try to work on that. But for the most part I’m not a selfish individual, I try to do what’s best for the team, try to watch film with my teammates. That’s just part of the game, who I am.”

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When asked if he actually threw a towel at Boylen, Rondo quipped, “You gotta look at the film,” and tried to downplay the situation as best he could, noting the timing of the event in question.

He apologized to the coaching staff and his teammates and believes there won’t be lasting effects, although the Bulls are in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

“Hopefully it’ll be the last three-game losing streak,” Rondo said. “It’s about how you handle adversity. We usually handle it well as far as bouncing back.”

Calling the incident “part of the game,” Rondo didn’t want to address specifics but given his history of instances such as these in Boston, Dallas and Sacramento, this one makes it a little harder to shake the reputation of being difficult to deal with.

“I have a good relationship with my team and I take pride in being a great teammate,” Rondo said. “I think we’re still on the same page. When you lose, things get blown out of proportion. When you win, it covers everything up. So we have to get back to winning basketball.”

His teammates have been supportive both behind the scenes and publicly, and were happy to have him back despite not being able to quell the losing streak.

“It was good. That's our starting point guard. We need veteran guys on this team,” Bulls guard Dwyane Wade said. “We need our bodies. He's our leader today so when we got down early he was the one who kept talking to us defensively. He's so smart out there on the floor, takes certain things away, get out in open transition. The reason we got back in the game, he did a good job of leading us in those moments.”

Bulls Talk Podcast: Bulls Slide Continues After Loss In Detroit

Bulls Talk Podcast: Bulls Slide Continues After Loss In Detroit

In the latest BullsTalk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Kendall Gill break down the Bulls latest losing streak. What is the biggest problem with the Bulls facing the Bulls going forward? Why was the rotation completely different in Monday and Tuesday’s games?

Then listen to Fred Hoiberg’s media session after the 101-92 loss in Detroit.

With the Spurs coming up on Thursday, the guys discuss how San Antonio continues to be an elite team despite the retirement of Tim Duncan. Will Perdue shares his memories of being traded for Dennis Rodman, of playing 4 seasons for Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and the relationship he has with the legendary coach. Plus Kendall shares a story of Pat Riley’s motivational locker room tactics.

Catch the latest edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast right here!