The Milwaukee Bucks got back to their winning ways on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies with a 126-114 win.
Up next is the Chicago Bulls at the Fiserv Forum. Let’s have a look at three things to watch for in this big Eastern Conference clash.
#1: Jrue Holiday is BACK!
Jrue Holiday made his comeback from an ankle injury on Wednesday night when we beat a hot Grizzlies team. It couldn’t have come at a better time, in all honesty. The Bucks struggled without our very talented PG, losing the two prior games in which we were in winning positions. Holiday’s presence on the court clearly makes us a better team.
In his comeback, Jrue played just under 22 minutes and finished with 9/5/4. That’s a good return, in my eyes. It’s a promising sign that he managed to play nearly half the game. With any luck, Holiday will start the Bulls game and we can begin the match-up firing on all cylinders.
Now, while he may not be back at his best this early after his injury return, it will be a huge boost having Holiday in the lineup against a Bulls team that is sitting top of the East. Winning this game is important at this stage of the season, given that the Bucks sit fourth in the conference, two games behind the Bulls, who have a few matches in hand over us after previous COVID call-offs.
With Jrue in the lineup, I don’t see how we lose this one.
#2: Stopping DeMar DeRozan
The Bulls are missing both Lonzo Ball and Zach Lavine, two potential All-Stars. They have been hot all season and as much as I am gifted they won’t be at full strength, it’s a great opportunity for the Bucks to get an important win.
Now, they might be missing two great players, but that doesn’t mean they have nobody that can change the game. Just ask Jimmy, the man behind @UKChicagoBulls, and I’m sure he can give you 10 reasons why the Bulls can still win this game.
The Bulls’ best opportunity to win is in the hands of another potential All-Star: DeMar DeRozan. He is quite rightly in the conversation and has been a huge factor for this Chicago team and how well they are doing.
The 2009 1st Round draft pick is averaging 25.7 points, five rebounds, and 4.9 assists with 34 minutes per game this season. He’s shooting just under 50% from the field and 85% from the free throw line.
In the Bulls’ last game against the Cavs, DeRozan had 30 points, shooting 14/24 and finishing with a +/- of +10.
Quite frankly, to win this game, the Bucks will have to find a way to keen this man quiet.
#3: The Bucks’ Big Three
The band is finally back together. With Jrue off the injury report, the Bucks have their Big Three all back on the court again, and it’s glorious.
When Giannis, Khris, and Jrue play together, the defending NBA Champions are 17-3. That record speaks for itself. We are a different team with all three fit; they’re virtually unstoppable.
Personally, I’d say we have one of the best trios in the league. I’m aware not everybody will agree, and we’re all entitled to our own opinions, but given the difference in quality between the Bucks with and without one or more of these players and the 17-3 record, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a more efficient threesome.
With the Bulls weakened by injury – they have five players out total – this game could be over before it’s even began.