We are finally here, at the All-Star break. Well, almost... the Milwaukee Bucks first have to play their third game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center before all of our non-All-Stars get a break heading into the final third of the season. The Bucks are riding as hot as they have all season, winning 11 games in a row including Tuesday’s thrilling victory over Boston.
Where We’re At
After going on our first 10-plus-game winning streak of the season, the Bucks came home to face the Boston Celtics and beat them 131-125 in overtime. Prior to that, we swept a three-game Western Conference road trip against Portland and the Los Angeles teams to keep the train rolling fast into the break.
Meanwhile, the Bulls have been really struggling since our last meeting. The Bulls made no moves at the trade deadline, for better or for worse, and they are still slipping behind Toronto and Washington to be a play-in tournament team. They have lost five in a row to Memphis, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Orlando, and Indiana to fall to 26-32 on the season. That is Indiana’s second win since Tyrese Haliburton had that injury about a month ago, so that should show you how bad the Bulls have been.
When it comes to injuries, Pat Connaughton will miss this game with left calf soreness. He’ll join Bobby Portis, who is still rehabbing from his MCL sprain, on the bench. Jae Crowder also will not play before the All-Star break. Everyone else is healthy aside from Giannis—listed as probable with right knee soreness—but with the All-Star game coming up, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were last-minute scratches.
As for the Bulls, Lonzo Ball (knee) and Javonte Green (knee) are for sure out. DeMar DeRozan (thigh) and Derrick Jones Jr. (groin) will also likely miss. Goran Dragic is day-to-day. Since they are without at least four players (likely five) and eight players appeared last night against Indiana—primarily the starters and Coby White—the Bucks could very well cruise through this one, even if we have some “load management” of our own.
Player to Watch
As we know, the Bucks are 0-2 against the Bulls this season, but that is before we had a healthy Khris Middleton and Joe Ingles. Here I’m going to go with Ingles, as he brings a unique skill set that the Bucks never had against the Bulls last season or this season, and I want to see how that helps (or doesn’t help) the Bucks beat Chicago for the first time this season.
Game 58: Against Chicago, the Bucks will...
This poll is closed
Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewere points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)