Bucks vs Bulls Preview
Note: 2022-2023 NBA Bucks Game Previews will return after the NBA All-Star Break
Check out this classic one here.
The 40-17 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 26-32 Chicago Bulls Thursday Night right off State Street in Downtown Chicago. Milwaukee is riding high on an 11 game winning streak. However this season, Milwaukee is winless vs the Bulls losing Game One 118-113 and Game Two 119-113. Chicago has lost its last five games.
The Bulls shoot a league low 29 three point attempts a game. They only make 10 threes a game. As a point of comparison the Bucks shoot 37 threes a game and usually make 13 of them. In today’s NBA you kinda live and die by the three.
Much of the talk centered around the Bulls before the trading deadline was whether or not they should “blow up” the team and trade LaVine or DeRozan. The Bulls did not make a single move.
The schedule makers continue to be kind to the Bucks. Chicago is on a back-to-back, losing last night to the Pacers 117-113.
Keys for the Bucks
Limit their turnovers
What is up with some of these sloppy turnovers lately? The Bucks have been a little careless at times with the ball. Against the Celtics Milwaukee had 18 turnovers. Giannis alone had 8. Things were better in the win against the Clippers. Milwaukee only had 11 turnovers and against the Lakers they only had 10. The Bucks, and Giannis especially, need to make sure they protect the ball.
The Bucks, on the season, were averaging less than 15 a game. They need to keep that number down. This winning streak has really helped to prove that.
Keep rebounding the ball
As we discuss a lot in these preview pieces, the Bucks continue to team rebound well. They are second as a team in the NBA at 48 rebounds a game. Chicago is in the bottom five in terms of team rebounding, 41 rebounds a game. Six possession changes in the NBA is a lot.
Milwaukee had 52 rebounds in Tuesday’s win against Boston. If they are at that or over that number against Chicago, that really bodes well for Milwaukee.
Giannis is 13-0 in his last 13 games. Bucks are -18 with him off the court and +159 with him on the court in those games.
— Nathan Marzion (@nathanmarzion) February 15, 2023
Note: NBA Bucks Game Previews will return after the NBA All-Star Break
Check out this classic one here
The Opponent- The Bulls
Why didn’t the Bulls try to add shooting at the deadline? They certainly need it.
Chicago is 20th in the NBA in scoring (113 points per game) and is shooting an abysmal 28% from behind the arc in February.
The Bulls are a much better team with Lonzo Ball, who is currently injured. DeMar DeRozan is having a good season, averaging 25/4/5. He hasn’t played particularly well however during the Bulls current five game losing streak.
Zach Lavine has struggled at times but is still second on the team in scoring. 22-yr old Ayo Dosunmu has given the team some good energy, all while picking up the slack for an injured Ball.
The 32 yr old Nikola Vucevic is the piece that seems to steer the ship. He’s a good three point shooter (37.7% this year) and rebounds well. His stats are good 17/11/3. He only averages 2 fouls a game. That is really low for a center in the NBA. (He also has wild stretches where he turns the ball over and again, struggles against the pick n roll.)
But again, Chicago is 2-0 vs Milwaukee this season. They seem to play well against the Bucks.
Things to tell your buddies while you are watching the game
- The Bucks are +350 to win the Eastern Conference this season.
- According to some metrics I was able to check out, most pundits still have the Bucks at a 20%+ chance to win a championship.
- Milwaukee has a 99% chance to make the playoffs.
- The NBA All Star game is this Sunday at 7pm. It is Team Giannis vs Team LeBron.
Follow me on Twitter at @authorrudylb and check out my other writings at www.rudylb.com. Check out the cool I-Heart Radio Podcast Gyro Step Podcast here. Follow us at @WiSportsHeroics for all things Wisconsin sports. Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!