Pre-Gamin’: Bulls at Bucks (7:00 CT) — Lineups, Odds, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

On the back-end of a back-to-back in a hostile environment, I’d be lying to you if I said I’m confident in the Bulls’ ability to pull off the dub tonight. However, we saw them play some of their best basketball against the Raptors tonight, and as long as they bring that same energy, we should see quite the fun battle.

Game Info

Chicago Bulls (42-29) at Milwaukee Bucks (44-27) – 7:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV) and 670 The Score (Radio)

Projected Starters

Chicago Bulls

1. Alex Caruso
2. Zach LaVine
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Javonte Green
5. Nikola Vucevic

Injury Report: Lonzo Ball OUT (knee), Zach LaVine QUESTIONABLE (knee)

Milwaukee Bucks

1. Jrue Holiday
2. Grayson Allen
3. Wes Matthews
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo
5. Brook Lopez

Injury Report: Giannis Antetokounmpo PROBABLE (knee), Khris Middleton OUT (wrist), DeAndre’ Bembry OUT (knee)

Odds

The Bulls walk into tonight as a +8.0 underdog to the Bucks at PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook and a +7.5 underdog at the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook. Click on either link to sign up and pick the Bulls to cover (… or pick the opposite, I guess …)!

I got to be honest, I would consider taking the Bulls to cover. Maybe saying that is the kiss of death, but the Bulls have kept the game within 6 points in the last two meetings against the Bucks. Milwaukee is also missing second-leading scorer Khris Middleton.

Now, if Zach LaVine is officially ruled out, maybe forget it. But I don’t hate the idea right now.

What to Watch For …

•   DeMar DeRozan looked like his old self against the Toronto Raptors last night. After averaging just a 41.1 percent mark from the field over the last 10 games, he broke out a dominant 11-14 showing from the field on his way to a game-high 26 points. He picked apart Precious Achiuwa and hit every single midrange shot he threw into the air. The Bulls can only hope this ignited a fresh fire under their leading scorer, who they will need at the top of his game again tonight to give Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. a run for his money.

•   The main reason the Chicago Bulls lost their March 4th meeting at the United Center was Jrue Holiday. The Bucks point guard turned on clutch mode in the 4th quarter, dropping 16 points of his 26 points in the final frame. Without Middleton on the floor tonight, Holiday is only going to get that much more of an opportunity to pick apart this Bulls defense, so let’s hope Alex Caruso is ready for a busy night.

•   Alex Caruso vs. Grayson Allen for the first time since January 21st.

•   The Bulls simply can’t pass up wide-open 3’s. We saw several players fall victim to this last night, almost moving the ball around the court to a fault. It’s a numbers game, and the Bucks make the 4th-most 3’s per game.

•   Instead of rewording what I already wrote, here’s a snippet from our Weekly Preview: The Bulls are going to need guys like Alex Caruso, Coby White, and Tristan Thompson to add a little juice on both ends of the floor. Other than a surprising Matt Thomas performance in Game 1, Chicago has yet to see a player not named Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, or DeMar DeRozan crack double-figures against the Bucks this season.

•   Can we get the same productive showing from Patrick Williams tonight?

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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