The Milwaukee Bucks are in a dangerous spot, they have a real chance to deliver us back-to-back satisfying victories by besting two of their most hated rivals in the Eastern Conference. Let’s hope they take us home in this one against the Chicago Bulls.
Where We’re At
Has there been a greater 180 from the fanbase than the despair of last Saturday’s loss against Brooklyn versus the utter elation after the miraculous Miami Heat comeback? The confetti was falling on everyone after that glorious Jrue Holiday banker. And, you know what, let’s watch that shot one more time.
Yep, still not sick of that. Whoo boy that is sweet, and the chance to best a Miami team that was unconscious from deep was even better. It wasn’t just that they were hitting open looks, they were nailing contested jumpers from all over. Their field goal above expected had to be crazy high for almost all their triples. That 120-119 victory felt like the kind of championship mettle we’ve wanted to see from the team all year long. One only hopes it can carry over as the rest of their regular season remains the most difficult in the league, including three contests with the Chicago Bulls.
Milwaukee already has one in the W ledger against their rivals to the South, the game so ugly it had to renew the rivalry between these two teams after years of domination by Bud’s Bucks. That game of course spawned GraysonGate, a discussion so vast and insufferable from the second it started, I chose to completely remove myself from it. Alex Caruso remains out with his wrist injury from that incident, but the Bulls have maintained steady among the tops of the Eastern Conference. Sitting at 39-23, they’re two games ahead of Milwaukee, but there’s plenty of opportunity for the Bucks to make up ground with so many head-to-heads remaining.
DeMar DeRozan has been the straw that stirs their drink, putting up ludicrous efficiency with his midrange attack. Slowing him down has proved folly for most teams across the league, so he should be a solid test for this Bucks defense that needs to round into form. The Bulls will be motivated too, coming off a loss on Thursday night, 130-124, against the Atlanta Hawks where Trae poured in 39.
If you’re the betting-inclined person, the Bucks are a three point favorite on the road tonight. Given the inconsistency of this team, I’m not sure I’d feel all that confident betting on them to cover that, but the Bulls have also consistently struggled against the class of the Eastern Conference.
It’s the usual Pat Connaughton, George Hill and Brook Lopez trio out for Milwaukee. Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and Patrick Williams are all out for Chicago.
Player to Watch
Ayo Dosunmu has emerged as a more than capable backup point guard with Alex Caruso out, and I’m curious to see how far he’s come. He was someone that I, along with many others, was semi-hoping the Bucks would target with their selection at 31 in last year’s draft. We all know how that went, but the Illinois product brings poise, defensive length and an impressive 40.6% 3-point mark thus far into the contest.
Game 64: Against Chicago, the Bucks will...
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Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)