The Bulls' Recent History Against the Bucks Has Been ... Not Great

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The Bulls’ Recent History Against the Bucks Has Been … Not Great

Chicago Bulls

The end of the regular season has been full of pain, so you can handle a little bit more, right?

I almost immediately regretted my search into the Bulls’ recent history against the Milwaukee Bucks. While these two franchises have been – quite clearly – headed in opposite directions in recent years, it can be hard to wrap your head around just how grim things have become for the Bulls against this Central Division foe.

Chicago has dropped 16 of 17 games against Milwaukee dating back to January 28th, 2018. The Bucks’ average margin of victory in those contests sits at an absurd 14.3. Only a total of four losses have come within single digits, two of which came this season.

The one victory the Bulls earned over the Bucks since 2018 came in the final game of the 2020-21 season. Milwaukee rested their starters before a historic playoff run, which means Chicago was tasked with a starting lineup of Jeff Teague, Sam Merrill, Pat Connaughton, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and Mamadi Diakite. They earned a win … but it was only by 6 points.

Again, when we consider the talent on this Bulls team over the past four seasons, it’s not *shocking* to see how badly they have struggled. But it does make it all the more frustrating to know they couldn’t muster a more competitive effort during this regular season with a revamped roster. While the two losses in January and March this year made it feel like we could be on the cusp of a real Bulls-Bucks rivalry, the next two losses came by a combined 49 points. The gap between the two teams didn’t look like it closed an inch.

The last time the Bulls and Bucks met in the playoffs came back in the 2014-15 season. Chicago took care of business in six games, the final of which was the 4th-largest margin of victory in NBA playoff history at 120-66 (at least we’ll always have that!). The series was full of its fair share of other memorable moments too, including a double-OT performance in Game 3 and a crazy blindside hit from a skinny Giannis Antetokounmpo on former-Buck Mike Dunleavy.

I mean, seriously, remember how wild that was?

Believe it or not, though, that series marked only the 4th time in league history that these two have met in the postseason. And the Bucks happen to hold the overall head-to-head playoff record. Before Chicago won in 1990 (4-0), the Bucks claimed both series in 1985 (3-1) and 1974 (4-0).

I think this all goes to show exactly why it’s been so difficult for true beef to blossom between these organizations. The two franchises have rarely played competitive basketball at the same time, and I’d say that is a pretty massive bummer considering the proximity and the fact they match up four times a year. But, hey, maybe this upcoming series is the start of a new chapter in the history books. You never know!



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.