Milwaukee Bucks vs Chicago Bulls 4/24/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls Matchup Preview (4/24/22)
The Milwaukee Bucks (2-1) will face the Chicago Bulls (1-2) in Game 4 of the First Round on Sunday afternoon. The Bucks didn’t let Khris Middleton’s absence faze them, as they easily won 111-81. Bobby Portis filled Middleton’s role in the starting lineup; he produced 18 points and 16 rebounds while shooting 4/8 from three. Giannis had a quiet scoring night, but his presence was felt by the Bucks. He finished with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists on 7/12 from the field. Jrue Holiday still hasn’t had an excellent game in this series, but he managed 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. Grayson Allen torched the Bulls off the bench by splashing 5 threes on route to 22 points. Milwaukee’s bench outscored Chicago’s bench 47-26. Overall, the Bucks played extremely well in Game 3. They grabbed 4 more offensive rebounds and were +4 in turnovers. The team had a decent 47/36/71 shooting split and played defense without fouling.
What a brutal game for the Bulls. Their team shooting split was a dreadful 39/26/60 line, and they didn’t have a quarter where they scored at least 25 points. Nikola Vucevic was the lone semi-bright spot for Chicago. He had 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists on 8/17 from the field and 3/9 from three. DeMar DeRozan produced 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists on 4/9 from the field. Zach Lavine chipped in 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Caruso scored 9 points. It was a terrible night for the Bulls, and they couldn’t take advantage of Middleton’s injury. They lost the home court advantage they had stolen in Game 2 and now have to win one in Milwaukee. If the Bulls lose Game 4, they can basically get ready for the off-season. It would take a miracle for them to orchestrate a 3-1 comeback over the defending champs.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls Betting Odds
The spread for Game 4 is -4.5 Bucks after being -2.5 Bucks in Game 3. I like the Bucks to cover the spread and make it consecutive wins over Chicago. Giannis is clearly the best player in the series, and Milwaukee’s defense is far more lethal than Chicago’s. I trust the Bucks shooters to hit their shots more than the Bulls. During the regular season, the Bulls were 27th in Spot Up defense. Holiday, Allen, Portis, Lopez, Matthews, and Connaughton are going to rain threes on the Bulls all game because they cannot stop it. Giannis has so much gravity when he drives that the defense is forced to collapse. This series is a bad matchup for Chicago, and I like the Bucks to prove it again in Game 4.
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Time: 1:00 PM ET
Arena: United Center – Chicago, IL
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Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
Milwaukee Bucks Analysis
Bobby Portis stepped up and dominated the Bulls in Game 3. He won’t replace Middleton’s production, but he adds more rebounding and spacing to the starting lineup. With Portis, Giannis, and Lopez on the floor, the Bucks are able to play three big men without sacrificing spacing. Chicago will find it hard to keep the Bucks off the offensive glass, and they won’t be able to get second chances themselves. This new starting lineup has played 12 minutes together so far in this series, and it owns a 61.9 Net Rating. The sample size is minuscule, but it is something to monitor going forward. Portis leads the Bucks in Defensive Rating at 84 this series for players playing solid minutes. His two-way play has been exceptional considering his usage.
Grayson Allen was a revelation for the Bucks in Game 3. He had a combined 3 points on 6 FGA in the first two games, so this performance was somewhat out of nowhere. If Allen can counter Coby White’s scoring, then the Bucks bench will be able to hold a lead the starting lineup hands off to them. Milwaukee can substitute Allen for Matthews if they want more shooting and less defense. However, he projects best as a bench weapon who can cut or extend leads with timely threes. Overall, the Bucks should focus on maintaining their level of defense. They have held the Bulls to 86, 114, and 81 points so far.
Chicago Bulls Starting Lineup
Chicago Bulls Analysis
The thing that stands out from their Game 3 loss is DeMar DeRozan’s box score. He took 9 FGA in 32 minutes – Coby White and Brook Lopez took the same amount of shots as him! DeRozan was a legitimate MVP-candidate this season who averaged 27.9 PPG on 20.2 FGA. He cannot take 9 FGA and expect the Bulls to beat the defending champs. Chicago needs DeRozan’s ability to hit tough contested shots and drive to the rim. The Bulls offense is dangerous when DeRozan drives knowing Caruso, LaVine, Williams, and Vucevic are spotting up for three. In their Game 2 win, DeRozan scored 41 points on 16/31 shooting. The Bulls are not going to break this Milwaukee defense if he is passive and not attacking the rim. Overall, the Bulls need to live or die by DeRozan’s FGA. He’s their best player, and he needs to lead the team in shots.
DeRozan has struggled in two of the three games; however, he is also not getting the help he had in the regular season. Zach LaVine wants a max contract this summer, but he is playing himself out of it right now. For the series, LaVine is contributing 17.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 3.7 APG on a 42/38/89 shooting split. His inability to take over a game is worrisome considering his talent. The best player for the Bulls given their role has arguably been Alex Caruso. He owns a 18 Net Rating, and the second best mark for the starters is Vucevic at 0. Caruso is producing 8.3 PPG, 4.3 APG, and 1.3 SPG on a 40.9 FG% and 41.2 3PT%. His on-ball defense has flustered Jrue Holiday repeatedly. If Caruso’s performance slides, the Bulls defense will be in shambles.