After an ugly loss to the Orlando Magic left a sour taste in the Milwaukee Bucks’ mouth, even sans Giannis Antetokounmpo, the chance to eradicate the Chicago Bulls will hopefully provide a salve to any lingering wounds.
Milwaukee can easily shrug off the loss to Orlando, where they shot by far their worst raw shooting percentage of the year at 32.6%. Not many teams are going to win with a putrid night like that. Instead, they have a chance to regroup with Giannis likely returning to the court for a good old fashioned smackdown of the Chicago Bulls in their home arena. Some things just never get old. The Bucks have already won both their games against the Bulls thus far, as they eked out a win their last time in November with a 116-113 victory. This will be their first chance to take on a revamped Bulls lineup though, including the arrival of Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen’s return. Mirotic was listed “out” on the injury report as of yesterday, so we may have to wait to see him make his debut and eventually rain fire on his old team.
Player to Watch: Malcolm Brogdon
Brogdon could be matched up against the defensive sieve, Zach LaVine, on the offensive end. The hope is that he can drive past the lapse-prone guard at will and recover from a woeful night against the Magic, when he converted just 3/18 on the night. His shot chart is both an eye sore and likely an outlier. The Bucks will need to return to their paint prominence tonight if their three ball isn’t falling. Chicago’s frontline could offer some resistance, but neither markkanen nor Carter Jr. are elite rim protectors yet.
How quickly the celebratory return of Jabari Parker to his hometown ended. I feel bad for the guy personally. To make a big deal about going home after his spectacular high school career there, only to be shuffled to the bench and maligned online by fans before getting shipped out to the Washington wasteland. Tough, but that’s the business. The days of Jabari getting roasted by Giannis are over, and in its place have come the slightly overpriced jack-of-all-trades game of Otto Porter Jr. He should give them a capable shooter from outside with a little dribble-drive ability, but he doesn’t really move the needle for a team that should be aiming to tank with all its might.
Player to Watch: Lauri Markkanen
Having not gotten a chance to see him against Milwaukee previously, I’m looking forward to seeing his stretchy euro game against the Bucks fours, particularly D.J. Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova. Markkanen had a promising rookie season and has only improved his per-36 numbers while nailing 38.7% from deep on 6.6 attempts per game.
Game 56: Against the Bulls, the Bucks will...
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