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Bucks vs. Bulls preview: Milwaukee looks to steal road victory in windy city

Milwaukee has a chance to even up the series Monday in Chicago, but it will be tough to pull off unless they tighten up their defense.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, let's try this again. Round 2!

The Bucks will look to steal a road win and more importantly even up the series with the Chicago Bulls on Monday at The United Center. A win would not only feel good for obvious reasons, but would also technically give Milwaukee the series advantage, having "broken serve," so to speak.

What happened in Game 1

The Bucks dropped Game 1 on Saturday 103-91. Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler combined for 48 points and 13 assists for the Bulls, while the Bucks--led by 18 points from Khris Middleton--shot 33 percent (25-75) in the final three quarters after making 10 of their first 14 shots en route to a 29 point first quarter. Jason Kidd said after the game that the first quarter scoring was "fool's gold," and that his team wasn't going to get anywhere in this series by trying to outscore Chicago. Rather, Kidd hoped that his guys would come out in game two with much better energy and execution...on defense. Better defense and limiting Chicago's scoring would truly keep his guys in the game.

What needs to change for game 2

It's easier said than done, but the Bucks will need to find a way to keep Chicago under 100 points, for two closely connected reasons. Holding the Bulls under 100 likely means that the Bucks defense is doing what they set out to do. Additionally, the Bucks probably would have difficulty keeping up in a shootout, so...yeah. Less points more wins!...?

On offense, knocking down a few shots might go a long way. Easy enough, right? Seriously though, the Bulls defense encourages the opponent to take midrange shots and long twos. Obviously that's not the ideal shot that the Bucks would like, but if they were able to make a few and stretch the conservative scheme a bit, that may open up a few more opportunities for easier baskets for guys like Giannis Antetkounmpo and MCW, who generate a majority of their offense on moves other than jump shots.

What to watch for

In the last regular season game between these two teams, MCW got a lot of time matching up against the smaller Aaron Brooks. Jason Kidd put MCW in the post frequently, and it led to 15 straight points for the Bucks guard. In Game 1, MCW and Aaron Brooks's minutes didn't cross that much, and Derrick Rose (who wasn't active in the last regular season game) did a solid job on MCW's few post-ups. Should this happen again, we can probably expect the same result, but it will be interesting to see if there is more of a chess game as both teams adjust to each other.

Game Info

2014/2015 NBA Postseason
Milwaukee bucks.vadb4300
Chicago bulls.v1b392e9
April 20, 2015
United Center | Chicago, IL
7:00 CT
TNT | Fox Sports Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Michael Carter-Williams PG Derrick Rose
Khris Middleton SG Jimmy Butler
Giannis Antetokounmpo SF Mike Dunleavy
Ersan Ilyasova PF Pau Gasol
Zaza Pachulia C Joakim Noah

On the BullsBlog a Bull