Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls Preview
In a Central Division showdown, the Chicago Bulls will host the Milwaukee Bucks tonight. The Bulls will be looking to avenge their loss to the Bucks 115-101 on November 18. In the game, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 33 points as Daniel Gafford paced the Bulls with 21. Giannis could be out of tonight’s game. If so, that task becomes that much easier.
The Bucks lead the Eastern Conference and the NBA with a 29-5 record. They have won their last two consecutive games and look to keep building steam on another run in Chicago tonight. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games and have an excellent road record of 13-3.
The Bulls are currently out of playoff contention, although it is still very early. They are in 9th place in the Eastern Conference with a 13-20 record. They won their last game but are just 5-5 in their last 10. They have a 7-10 record at the United Center.
Time: 8 PM ET
Arena: United Center, Chicago, IL
Channel: FSWIS, NBCSCH
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Q), Eric Bledsoe (O)
Bulls: Tomas Satoransky (P), Lauri Markkanen (DTD), Chandler Hutchison, Otto Porter Jr. (O)
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
The Milwaukee Bucks have been nothing short of dominant this season, and lately, they are showing they can also get it done without Giannis Antetokounmpo when they have to. They’ve built up a two-game win streak, while Giannis has been sidelined with a sore back, something head coach Mike Budenholzer wants to keep a close eye on.
“His back is something I guess would be in that category of something we manage and keep our eyes on, and sometimes it flares up,” Budenholzer said. “(On Friday and Saturday), it’s enough that he can’t play. But you’re hopeful that it’s not anything significant, even though it is something that we kind of monitor on a regular basis.”
Giannis is questionable for tonight’s game, but he hasn’t been ruled out yet. Without him on Friday, they blasted the Atlanta Hawks, and then in a back-to-back on Saturday they beat the Orlando Magic 111-100.
It was Milwaukee’s bench who stepped up for this game as both Robin Lopez and George Hill had 17 points and Kyle Korver had eight. That was especially helpful with two of their starters failing to crack double digits.
Khris Middleton led all Bucks players with 21 points, and Ersan Ilyasova added 17 points and 14 rebounds. This Bucks team looks deep now, but once Giannis and Bledsoe return, Ilyasova and Donte DiVincenzo will return to the bench, making them even more of a threat.
Chicago Bulls Starting Lineup
The Chicago Bulls are looking to start a two-game winning stream tonight, and they have won three of their last four entering their game against the Bucks.
Just as the Bucks had done before, the Bulls took their turn beating up on the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday to the tune of a 116-81 blowout.
“We talked about that before the game (against Atlanta) and talked about it at halftime that we’ve been here before and we needed to go take care of business,” coach Jim Boylen said. “I’m really proud of our guys. I think they’re growing. I think they’re understanding how important every possession is.”
Even with John Collins back in the lineup, with Trae Young sidelined, the Hawks went searching for offense, whereas the Bulls had no problems getting points on the board. They led in all but one quarter and got out to an early 35-19 lead and didn’t look back. In the fourth, the Bulls put on the clamps as they scored 33 and limited the Hawks to just 16.
The Bulls had six players in double figures, led by Lauri Markannen’s 25 points. Zach LaVine added 19 and rookie Colby White came off the bench for 18 points. They’ll need another team effort tonight against the Bucks, especially if Giannis plays.
Key Player Matchups
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Lauri Markkanen
It’s still unsure whether Giannis will play, but if he does, this is matchup that can’t be missed. It features two of the best power forwards in the NBA with different skillsets. Markkanen has range from all over the floor and is comfortable with his back to the basket, but Giannis is the more athletic player and is more dominant down low.
Khris Middleton vs. Zach LaVine
With Dunn starting out of position, I think coach Boylen will leave him to defend Wesley Matthews while LaVine defends Middleton. Middleton and LaVine are potent scorers. Middleton can drive, but he’s not quite the athlete LaVine is, but Middleton is the better defender of the pair.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zach LaVine are standouts for tonight’s matchup. Granted Giannis plays, he is available for $11,2k and has a fantasy projection of 46.6 points. LaVine is available for $8.3k on FanDuel and is projected for 38.6 points.
A rare value pick, Lauri Markkanen is available for just $6.3k and is expected to finish with 27.5 fantasy points. George Hill may not have a terrific FP projection of just 13 points, but he has been coming up big lately and he’s seen an increase in minutes with Bledsoe out and DiVincenzo starting. If you want to take a flyer on someone, his $4.8k salary makes that an easy risk.
Bet on Matchup
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