3 Keys to Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks, Including Janice Atetokunmp’s Slowdown – Reading Eagle

Beating current NBA champions is never an easy task. The Chicago Bulls have a difficult path to victory in the first round of the playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks. After 0-4 in the seasonal series “Bulls” hope to break the picture in the postseason.

Here are three clues for the Bulls as they prepare for Game 1 on Sunday in Milwaukee.

1. Slow down Janice Antentokunmpo

The Entente is a clear focus for the Bulls – and any other team facing the Bucks. A week before the first game, the Bulls players did not feel the need to break Antentokunmpo’s skill set.

“Everyone knows about Janice,” said security guard Alex Caruso. “You don’t have to say anything about it.”

Antentokunmpo’s size and agility make it a threat anywhere on the site. He counts as a guard and forward any day and has averaged 29.9 points and 11.4 rebounds this season. Antentokunmpo will not stop, but the Bulls need to do everything possible to slow it down.

The Bulls had no answer for the NBA’s two-time MVP. Center Nikola Vucevic and Tristan Thompson were not fast enough to match Antentokunmp from arc to edge. Havonte Green infused energy and athleticism in the match against Antentecunmp, but Bucks found it too easy to take advantage of the 6-inch height difference between them.

In the playoffs forward Patrick Williams could be the solution for the Bulls. With a 7-foot wingspan and explosiveness, Williams has the physical ability to dog Antentokunmpo in defense. The question is whether Williams is ready for the physical quality of the current NBA Finals MVP.

Williams has twice met with Antentokunmpa late this season in 28 and 21-point explosions. These games were not a good example of a match. Williams played just 18 minutes in the first game, working under a minute limit after returning from five months trauma absence. Antentokunmpa didn’t even score in the first quarter of the second game before fighting back early in the fourth to enjoy the rest of the win from the bench.

After the first weeks after returning from injury, Williams has exploded with confidence in the last three games of the season. For the Bulls, it will be important to help Williams move that intensity to Sunday when he takes his first real crack at the Antentokunmpo.

2. Keep the ball under control

Although the Bucks have moved into defense after a break at the All-Star Game, they can still dominate the game through their defense, which features guards Jrou Holliday and Wesley Matthews.

This season, the Bulls struggled with the Bucks’ defense, averaging 101.5 points (10.1 below their average). While many teams have begun to double Demar DeRozan’s team in the final third of the season, the Bucks have contented themselves with leaving one of their main defenders among the Bulls ’top scorer.

With Holiday and Matthews hunting for theft the defense of the ball will be crucial. On average, the Bulls played 12.8 rpm, being sixth in the league. And without Lonzo Bol they don’t have an experienced playmaker. Newcomer Ayo Dosunmu has taken responsibility for the role following Bolo’s injury, and Caruso has replaced him as a starter in the last two weeks. In the playoffs the position will remain in their hands.

Dosunmu’s rise in the playoffs has been huge for the Bulls, but he is still inexperienced entering his first professional postseason. Caruso brings more experienced touches to the position, but the constant back spasms cause uncertainty about its potential availability – especially if the series lasts a long time.

Although the pair will carry the ball to the court, the defense of the ball extends to the entire list. Bucks absorb momentum, and the Bulls bury themselves in the pit if they give up too many transition opportunities.

3. Take advantage of 3 points

While the Bucks can stifle in defense, their focus on paint creates a serious gap that the Bulls can take advantage of. The Bucks are fourth in the NBA in terms of points (43.6), but this is based on a compromise – to give up more 3-point attempts than any other team.

Opponents make an average of 40.6 attempts due to the arc against the Bucks, who sacrifice these long-range opportunities to pinch the paint and eliminate throws in the rim and second chance points. (By comparison, teams are trying 31.9 three-pointers per game against the Bulls.)

Heavy shooting from the outside could also pull the Bucks out of their typical shape, forcing them to fight for an arc to free up cuts in the basket. This does not necessarily affect the strengths of the Bulls. The Bulls scored 28.8 three-pointers per game in the regular season, less than any other team. Without Ball they are missing one of their best players who catch and shoot from a great distance.

But the Bulls are also the fourth most accurate team with a distance of 3 points, throwing 36.9%. Guardians Kobe White (38.5%) and Zach Lavine (38.9%) may add popularity because of the arc. If the Bulls are able to catch the hot strip from the 3-point range, they will have a hole to create holes in the rest of the Bucks defense.


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