Young wants young Bulls to show a bit more fight
When Milwaukee guard Eric Bledsoe dunked and hung on the rim after the final buzzer of the Bulls' 124-115 loss to the Bucks on Thursday, Thaddeus Young took exception.
Young stood at midcourt with his arms raised and talked to some of the Bucks players. The episode ended quickly and was inconsequential, but the Bulls signed Young as a free agent this summer to help teach the young players how to win.
After Friday's practice at the Advocate Center, Young talked about the Bulls' progress and whether his teammates could use a little more anger after a tough loss.
"I wouldn't say guys have to hate losing a little bit more," Young said. "I think everybody hates losing. I'm probably one of the guys who hates losing the most being where I came from the last two years (playoffs with Indiana). At the end of the day, these guys are my brothers, my teammates, my family here now. These guys are battling each and every day."
Young pointed to decision-making and execution down the stretch as the Bulls' biggest issue right now. The game in Milwaukee was certainly an example. They had plenty of chances to get back in the game in the fourth quarter, but turnovers, bad shots and errant open shots took a toll.
Then when they finally closed within 3 points with 1:53 left on Zach LaVine's driving layup, the Bulls let the 6-1 Bledsoe follow in a miss by Giannis Antetokounmpo.
"Right now we're just going through bumps and bruises of trying to finish games," Young said. "We put ourselves in a position to be able to win that game. The last three minutes, I would say we got uncomfortable. We didn't make shots, so it translated to them getting loose balls or offensive rebounds -- all the little small things."
The Bulls (4-8) have been competitive against the Lakers and Bucks in the past two weeks, but still haven't gotten to the point where they can take it down to the final possession and have a chance to win. They'll get another opportunity when the Bucks visit the United Center on Monday.
"We do need a little bit more of a sense of urgency," Young said. "But a sense of urgency with smarts."
One problem on Thursday was center Wendell Carter Jr. being limited to 21 minutes because of foul trouble. He fouled out early in the fourth quarter. The Bulls fell behind by 11 in the third and couldn't get all the way back.
"When we don't defensive rebound, we don't get out and run, and it's harder on us offensively," coach Jim Boylen said. "So the defensive rebound is a huge component. I thought we did a poor job of defending without fouling last night. We must improve that."
One thing about the Bulls' locker room is there are a lot of nice guys in there. It's been suggested maybe the team needs a little nastiness or someone with that crazy intensity. Chicago native Patrick Beverley is a guy who fits that description and was a possible target, but he understandably chose to re-sign with the Clippers this summer.
"Every team could do for a little crazy. Every team," Young said. "Every team could have a little crazy guy. Me personally, I think we have a good group of guys. I think we have a good mesh of guys who can win basketball games.
"It's just all about going out there and finishing and being able to stay tough-minded, where we're just locking in and executing. Even if we don't make shots and we play defense and we don't give up certain things, it still puts us in position to win."
Bulls game dayBulls vs. Brooklyn Nets, Saturday 5 p.m. at the United Center
TV: NBCSCH; Radio: WSCR 670-AM
Outlook: If you're headed to this one, beware of the early start. ... The Nets (4-7) are on their way back from the West Coast and have dropped three in a row, including Thursday's 101-93 loss at Denver. ... Kyrie Irving is Brooklyn's top scorer at 28.5 points per game, followed by former Bulls SG Spencer Dinwiddie at 17.1 ppg. SF Caris LeVert (16.8 ppg) will be out a few weeks with a right thumb injury. ... The Nets rank sixth in the league in points scored (116.8) and fourth in points allowed (119.5). ... Brooklyn has won three straight in Chicago.
Next: Milwaukee Bucks on Monday 7 p.m. at the United Center
-- Mike McGraw