With the ever pesky Game One firmly in the Milwaukee Bucks rear view mirror, it’s time to turn the attention towards putting the Chicago Bulls in a 2-0 hole as the series will shift down south. After a positively putrid offensive display by both teams, we must be due for the shooting to blaze up this game, right?
Where We’re At
Nobody is going to be feeling well after the upchuck of an offensive display that we saw on Sunday evening. For as poorly as Milwaukee shot (10-38 from deep), Chicago managed an even worse percentage, at 7-37, including a few air balls here and there. Still, Bud’s team has to be kicking themselves over just how out of sorts they got after the first period. They had 21 turnovers, and frequently settled for jumpers or fell into the Bulls trap as Alex Caruso or other defenders were ready to meet them as they prepared to penetarate inside the arc. One hopes a few more triples falling will force a few of those defenders to leave the confines of the paint this time around. It’ll also require diligence and patience on the part of Milwaukee’s playmakers, who combined for 16 of the Bucks 21 TOV. A quiet scoring game off the bench for all but Bobby Portis didn’t help matters, but the defense was on point in forcing the Bulls shooters to ghastly numbers. After being blunted by a series of Caruso charges, I have a feeling Giannis will come out with a vengeance.
Still, for a series that most believed would end with the Bulls getting hammered four straight games, they have to feel somewhat encouraged that they could hold Giannis to 27 points, get him in foul trouble and muck up Milwaukee’s rhythm. They likely feel some mean reversion is equally in store for them, especially for a three point team that ranked top five in terms of percentage even if their volume was dead last. I don’t give them much chance against a Bucks team that’s likely gonna be looking to showcase themselves better, but the Bulls showed some mettle even if it only came in a moral victory.
Milwaukee is favored by 10 points in this one, which seems a bit lofty to put money down, but if there’s any game the Bucks will want to lay the smack down, this may be it.
George Hill is out once more with abdominal strain, so expect Jevon Carter minutes again. New to the injury report is Bobby Portis with a right calf contusion, but he’s listed as probable. Jordan Nwora is probable too.
Lonzo Ball and Matt Thomas are both out for the Bulls.
Player to Watch
Grayson Allen was a non-entity in his first playoff game in a Milwaukee uniform, missing both his shots and blowing a pass in transition that could’ve been gobbled up and slammed against the rim. He’s been tentative vs. the Bulls besides the final regular season game and the Bucks need his scoring punch off the bench if their core players are struggling with jumpers of their own. Hopefully he can find a way to get it going.
Game 2: Against Chicago, the Bucks will...
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