It may be a back-to-back victory, but we’re not ready to crown the Milwaukee Bucks as the team to beat yet. They were fantastic against the Miami Heat, but they have yet to prove they can keep up that level of play against the Bulls. The reigning champion is likely to relinquish his title.
The first game between Milwaukee and Chicago was the most boring of the current playoffs, with neither team scoring more than 180 points. Bookmakers now anticipate a higher score. Will the Bucks and Bulls reach their pre-agreed-upon total?
The Bucks finished third in the East at the end of the regular season, trailing Boston by two wins and on extra points. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the undisputed leader of the team, and he has even improved in some areas this season. “Greek Freak” has improved his free-throw shooting and mid-range shooting, but his lengthy rituals at the line became something of a meme during the playoffs.
Khris Middleton was the second-best player in Milwaukee, but Jrue Holiday was more efficient on offense, making more than half of his shots from the field. Brook Lopez has improved his form since his injury, and he now gets a full 30 minutes of playing time as a starter. The Bucks’ bench features Bobby Portis, Jevon Carter, Pat Connaughton, Grayson Allen, and Wesley Matthews, in addition to Giannis, Middleton, Lopez, and Holiday. George Hill and DeAndre’ Bembry have been ruled out, and Jordan Nwora is once again questionable.
Milwaukee has won four of the last five games. Mike Budenholzer’s player won his first match against Chicago, 9386. Bucks took the lead early in the game, but by the end of the third quarter, they had lost their advantage and even led their opponents. Milwaukee made 10 out of 38 three-point attempts (26.3 percent), with only Portis, Carter, and Matthews showing more or less good shot rates, for a total of five three-point attempts. With 27 points, Giannis was Milwaukee’s most productive player. OKBET is a friendly and welcoming community that aims to bring people, updates and information regarding the NBA.
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The Bulls struggled in the second half of the season, but making the playoffs for the first time in five years is a clear success for Chicago. It would be nice to have a quality bench in addition to DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic, and losing Lonzo Ball for the rest of the season has been nearly disastrous. Along with Alex Caruso, Ball is one of the Bulls’ best defensive players, and the team could certainly use some of Lonzo’s three-point shooting. Chicago has another scorer in the hospital, Matt Thomas, and the only available reserves are Coby White and Patrick Williams, both of whom have no playoff experience.
Chicago looked good against the reigning champions, but the execution was abysmal. Billy Donovan’s team frequently missed shots on “their” possessions: DeRozan, for example, missed mid-range shots from good positions all too frequently. It’s clear that the Bulls’ offensive potential remains high, and LaVine is capable of more. Vucevic and DeRozan combined to make only 15 of 52 shots, while LaVine made 6 of 19. On the plus side, Milwaukee had a respectable defense and won the turnover battle: the Bulls had 10 steals and 16 offensive rebounds.
The reigning champion: Milwaukee has defeated Chicago nine times in their last ten meetings. The Bucks were stronger four times during the regular season, including a 106-127 victory on the road the night before. The lineups were nearly identical, with the exception of the absence of Lonzo Ball and DeAndre’ Bembry.
- Milwaukee won 8 out of 10 home games;
- Chicago won 7 of the last 10 road games;
- Milwaukee finished the regular season No.3 in the NBA offensive rating, while Chicago was No.13.
Expert Betting Tips
OKBET Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls: Pick+Win. Milwaukee’s defense hasn’t been particularly strong, and they’ve gotten even weaker since the last playoffs. The Bucks lack a defensive backup in the form of P.J. Tucker’s level, and the coach isn’t willing to take the risk of bringing in Serge Ibaka. Chicago will have a chance to prove themselves; all they have to do is make their shots. 86 points on 96 possessions in the previous game is a poor performance, but LaVine and DeRozan have yet to show what they’re capable of. I propose that we place bets on the following outcomes:
- Total Over (224.5) for 1.898;
- Handicap Chicago (+10.5) for 1.80;
- Chicago To Win (incl. OT) for 5.25.