The Chicago Bulls will meet the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the NBA playoffs, staying close to home to begin their first post-season appearance in five years.
The series of the best of the seven will begin Sunday at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. Game time and telecast are not specified.
The Bulls (46-36) – who finished the regular season on Sunday night with a 124-120 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves – last week after the start of 2022 at the top of the conference standings ranked sixth in the Eastern Conference.
The reigning NBA champion “Bucks” (51-31) was friendly with the “Boston Celtics” and “Philadelphia 76ers”, but dropped to third seed on Sunday after resting most of his starting lineup in the defeat of the “Cleveland Cavaliers”.
The rivalry between the Bulls and the Bucks then seemed to gain a new advantage Alex Caruso’s injury from Grayson Allen in January, but since then it has been a one-sided series. The Bulls have lost all four meetings with the Bucks this season, including 28- and 21-point hits in the last two games.
“They’re champions for good reason,” Bulls coach Billy Donavan said. “They passed combat tests. They went through it. We will have to play very, very good basketball on both ends of the floor. “
Despite the toughest schedule in the league after a break at the All-Star Game, Bucks set a 15-7 record as they chased after the titles.
Janice Atetokunmpa poses an impossible challenge for most teams, but the Bucks have thrived in recent victories over the Bulls thanks to other players such as Brooke Lopez and Jru Hollidi.
“They have a really good team and a complete team,” said Zach Lavine. “I think we have too. We just have to attack them and find out how we can defeat them. … We must try to bring the struggle to them, because if we are on our heels again, it will not be good. “