Milwaukee Bucks vs Bulls Preview- Early Season Struggles Continue
The (5-4) Milwaukee Bucks take on the (4-6) Chicago Bulls Monday Night at home at the Fiserv forum. This game against the Bulls is on the back end of a back-to-back for Chicago. They eeeked out a home win vs Detroit last night.
For the Milwaukee Bucks they are mired in a small, little losing streak. Having been beaten pretty thoroughly by Orlando in Orlando and losing a closer one to Indiana in Indianapolis, Milwaukee is grateful to be playing back at home. Milwaukee is 4-1 at home on the season.
Jae Crowder is not expected to play; Damian Lillard is expected to play.
Milwaukee has a big week this week, playing 5 games from Monday to Monday (11.13-11.20). But above all of that Milwaukee faces a “true test” against Boston on Wednesday, Nov. 22nd (the night before Thanksgiving) against Boston, in Boston. Mark that one on your calendar!
Much of the talk centered around the Bulls right now is whether or not they should “blow up” the team and trade LaVine or DeRozan. Earlier in the year we pondered what a trade for DeMar DeRozan might look like for Milwaukee.
Keys for the Milwaukee Bucks
No more than 14 total team turnovers
The Toronto Raptors last season were the NBA best in not-turning-the-ball-over. That team was coached by Nick Nurse and new Bucks Head Coach Adrian Griffin. Milwaukee really needs to embrace this idea.
Not turning the ball over will, in fact, help open up the Bucks defense. The two go hand-in-hand.
Right now Milwaukee is 17th in the NBA in terms of total team turnovers at 14.6 per game. Against Orlando, in a loss, the team committed 19 total team turnovers. That is WAY TOO Many.
Against the 76ers at the home opener the Bucks committed exactly 14 turnovers. 7 of those turnovers came from Giannis.
Now, in Giannis’s defense, sometimes it is going to take time to figure out this new offense. New coach, new point guard, not a lot of preseason playing time: all of these are reasons to not really worry. But to account for 50% of your team’s turnovers is way too high.
Conversely Damian Lillard, the new star point guard who dropped 39 points in his debut, accounted for 0 turnovers. 0! That is what you love to see out of a point guard. 0 turnovers! If Lillard can score like that and protect the ball like George Hill the Bucks are going to win quite a few games.
Respect the Tweet.
The 2011 Miami Heat started their season 9-8. That should be reassuring for Bucks fans:
For anyone worried about the Bucks
Know that the 2011 Heat started of 9-8. pic.twitter.com/PLk2T1MMU4
— 🦌 𝘚𝘸𝘰𝘰𝘴𝘩 🦌 (@SwooshSzn) November 13, 2023
Score over 118 points
When the Bucks score over 118, they usually win. On the season the Bucks are scoring just under 118 points a game- 115.3. Over the past two games that number really took a hit, especially only scoring 97 points against Orlando.
Getting 70 points from their big three (Giannis, Khris and Dame) and then a combination of 48 from Brook, Bobby, Malik, and Planet Pat usually does it. (Again, Jae Crowder is out).
The Bucks should be able to aim for that 118 point number against Toronto on Wednesday as well.
The Opponent- The Bulls
Chicago could still make the playoffs this year. But the consensus around the NBA is that the party might be over for Chicago. For a team that really needs to develop players, there does not seem to be much player development going on. (Save Coby White.)
Chicago had some big free agents come up this past off season. They elected to keep them all in the hope they could keep this group together to make one more run.
Right now Zach Lavine and DeMar DeRozan seem to trade off leading scorer responsibilities. Lavine is averaging 22.4 a game; DeRozan is averaging 21.3 a game.
Nikola Vucevic is leading the team in rebounds (10.4). He is having a good start to his season so far.
The Bulls are a much better team with Lonzo Ball, who is currently injured. Chicago added Jevon Carter to hopefully cover for the loss of Ball.
They also added Derrick Favors, rookie Justin Lewis (Marquette) and journeyman Tory Craig. That might not be enough to get them back into serious contention.
Things to tell your buddies while you are watching the game
- The Bulls are 134-129 vs the Bucks all-time. Even with all of those great Bulls teams of the 90’s, it is crazy to think the Bucks could take the all-time franchise lead with 7-1 stretch over the next two seasons.
- Bobby Portis leads this team in steals with 1.2 a game.
- Quinn Buckner has the all-time lead with the most steals in Bucks franchise history.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo has the most assists in Bucks Franchise history with 3,413.
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