- Nick Friedell, Chicago Bulls beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- After watching his team turn the ball over a season-high 28 times in a Game 4 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks, even Mike Dunleavy, the easy-going veteran Chicago Bulls guard, sounded angry about what he had just witnessed.
"You got to give them credit," Dunleavy said of the Bucks' defense, before revealing where his frustration really stemmed from. "But for whatever reason ... we're not understanding the spacing and where we need to be and where we're coming from. After four games, it's like it's getting worse. It should be getting better. We'll take a look at the film again, but we either got to get it by now, or I don't know when it's going to happen because we have a bunch of guys who just want to hold the ball.
"We got plenty of guys that can make plays, make shots, so to sit there and hold the ball and let them strip you, just doesn't make sense."
The coach's son had seen enough.
The Bulls have turned the ball over 76 times in four games against the Bucks, an alarming number for any team at any time, but especially bad for a playoff team with championship aspirations. Dunleavy and his teammates remain confident they'll be able to close out the Bucks in Game 5 on Monday night, but they know they must clean up their mistakes in advance of the upcoming showdown against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"You turn it over 28 times, there are some pretty amazing ways to do it," Dunleavy said after Sunday's film session. "At some point you start becoming creative, and it was pretty amazing the way we turned it over, but hopefully we'll fix it."
Like his players, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is not pleased with the amount of giveaways the Bulls have made in this series.
"We want 13 or less," Thibodeau said. "That’s an awfully high number we gotta get down."
So how do the Bulls get them down and close out the Bucks on Monday?
When Hall of Fame NBA writer Sam Smith mentioned to Dunleavy on Sunday that with the Bucks usually doubling Pau Gasol or trapping Derrick Rose, there should be somebody open, the veteran guard raised his arms over his head and a smile started to break across his face.
"Ahhh," Dunleavy said, with a sense of relief and happiness, as if he had finally found someone who understood his pain.
"Yes. Man, you're brilliant. That, in theory, is what we're trying to do. Make that ball move, get it out of the double team and take advantage of four-on-three on the weakside or whatever it may be."
"You turn it over 28 times, there are some pretty amazing ways to do it," Mike Dunleavy said after Sunday's film session.