Playoff Pre-Gamin’: Bulls at Bucks (8:30 CT) – Game 2 – Lineups, Odds, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Playoff Pre-Gamin’: Bulls at Bucks (8:30 CT) – Game 2 – Lineups, Odds, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Bulls

If not for a miserable shooting display in the 4th quarter on Sunday night, we might be talking about the Bulls looking for a 2-0 advantage in this series. Instead, the defending champs are looking to take a commanding lead in Milwaukee with the odds heavily in their favor.

*chugs a beer*

*chugs a second one*

*puts on ski mask*

Let’s steal one.

Game Info

Chicago Bulls (46-36) at Milwaukee Bucks (51-31) – 8:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV), TNT (TV), and 670 The Score (Radio)

Chicago Bulls

1. Alex Caruso
2. Zach LaVine
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Patrick Williams
5. Nikola Vučević

Injury Report: Lonzo Ball OUT (knee), Matt Thomas OUT (leg)

Milwaukee Bucks

1. Jrue Holliday
2. Wesley Matthews
3. Khris Middleton
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo
5. Brook Lopez

Injury Report: George Hill DOUBTFUL (abdominal), Jordan Nwora DOUBTFUL (back)

Odds

The Bulls walk into tonight as +10.0 underdogs against the Milwaukee Bucks at PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook and at the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook. Click on either link to sign up and pick the Bulls to cover (… or pick the opposite, I guess …)!

Considering the last game came in at +10.5, I’m a tiny bit surprised the Bulls aren’t getting a bit more respect. But, at the same time, Vegas likely needs more than a one-game sample size to believe this can be a close series … so let’s give ’em just that!

What to Watch For …

•   I have absolutely no idea what to expect tonight. On one hand, I’m optimistic the Chicago Bulls learned some lessons about how to set themselves up for success in Game 1. On the other hand, I will not be surprised in the slightest if the reigning champions come out fuming and blow the doors off the Bulls. I lean a little bit more toward the latter happening, but I do genuinely believe the fight the Bulls showed to open this series isn’t going anywhere. This looked like a rejuvenated squad ready to go down swinging. Although, whether or not that leads to the kind of execution it takes to build arguably the best team in the East is a real question.

•   If I know one thing is for sure, the Bulls stars have to play more efficient basketball. Chicago’s 32.3 percent mark was worse than any regular-season performance, as the team’s Big 3 combined for a dismal 21-71 shooting effort. I’m looking toward DeRozan, specifically, to have a big bounce-back showing tonight. His shot chart reflected what we grew used to seeing this season, but the All-Star simply couldn’t find a rhythm. If he gets the same kind of looks tonight, I like his chances to lead his team in scoring.

•   Nikola Vucevic played a really good game on Sunday. I know that sounds weird to say with a 9-27 night from the field, but he was the most reliable scorer and played some of his most aggressive basketball of the season around the rim. He grabbed a very necessary 17 rebounds and scored 12 points in the 3rd quarter to give the Bulls a shocking lead. Yes, he still needs to shoot better, but I loved the mindset he came to play with against this superiorly-sized frontcourt. The Bulls need him to keep it up.

•   More Derrick Jones Jr.? The versatile forward played roughly 10 minutes in Game 1, and he provided a nice change of pace off the bench in the second half. His switchability along the perimeter and length around the rim can be huge on the defensive end. Meanwhile, his high-flying antics and strong cutting could become an even greater asset on offense. In general, I’d love to see Donovan double-down on a lineup with him and Javonte Green off the bench moving forward.

•   A lot more in the posts below:



Author: Elias Schuster

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