When it was revealed who the Bucks would play in the first round, the overall feeling was this will be a quick easy series. People accused the Bucks of passing up home court advantage in round two and the Brooklyn Nets, but that was a ridiculous claim. Instead, Milwaukee got the Chicago Bulls, a team that started bright but badly faded as the season progressed. The Bulls finishing 6th seemed right for this; they were solid but not spectacular and had players that are good for the regular season but none that you can rely on once the playoffs rolled around. Their best player, whose strength (midrange jumpers) is very good, doesn’t make a team better. Their second and third best players are no defense, just vibes on the court. When your key defender is Alex Caruso, it’s not going to be good. This was simply a series where going more than five games would be inexcusable for the Bucks.
So there went the Bucks playing what equated to five more regular season games. Overall there wasn’t anything new that we learned about this team. Giannis Antetokounmpo can still put up most player’s career highs in 30 minutes of play. Jrue Holiday can take your best offensive player and make their night a living hell. Bobby Portis is the mayor of Milwaukee and Brook Lopez’s defensive impact can’t be understated. We did get a nice surprise of Grayson Allen providing an offensive punch when the Bucks need it and overall no big complaints besides losing Khris Middleton to injury and George Hill not being healthy enough for any of the series.
Middleton being hurt will cause issues and problems for Milwaukee next round against Boston; but for Games 3-5, it was more of a formality, like missing him for a regular season stretch. The Bucks didn’t miss a beat and that will be important for them moving forward as they got a chance to figure out the rotation. You could argue that if there was a silver lining, it’s that having this injury happen against a significantly inferior opponent builds the confidence one would want in the future.
So the final thoughts on this Bulls series? Well, I guess it was good for Fiserv to get two extra games of revenue that Herb Kohl would be proud of. Grayson Allen embarrassing Chicago fans in their stadium was fun. Luca Viladoza cemented his spot on next season’s roster. Milwaukee is the far superior team while the Bulls can always look at the Grayson Allen suspension as their championship. Sometimes this is what playoff basketball will provide, but I am excited for the real action to begin on Sunday.