The Bulls are coming off a huge 114-110 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks last night. They played some of their best basketball of the season as a unit and made plays when they needed to in order to secure the win. Outside of the Bull’s victory last night there was still something else on many fans’ minds. In the fourth quarter, Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton went down from a non-contact injury. After going down Middleton got up and went straight to the locker room. There wasn’t much news as the game came to a close but today the extent of his injury was released.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer says Khris Middleton has a sprained MCL in his left knee pic.twitter.com/nFEFC57ZEA
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 21, 2022
The reports say that Middleton will be out for 2-4 weeks. However, if the season ends the length isn’t necessarily important. Either way, he’s going to be out for the remainder of the Bulls series against the Bucks. This news is huge as the teams are headed to Chicago for game three tomorrow. In the two games played against the Bulls in the playoffs, Middleton was averaging 14.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, & 7 APG. He was heavily contributing on the court and his injury will make an impact in the Bucks locker room. With this news, the Bulls need to keep their foot on the gas and keep playing how they have.
The Bulls can’t slow down
This team showed in these first two games that they are willing to fight. Even on a horrible shooting night in game 1 they still fought and tried to get a victory. The shooting performance last night is something that needs to happen every game. Another off night and the Bulls likely won’t come out on top. With Middleton going down it does open the door for the Bulls. More importantly, it puts more pressure on a couple of Bucks players to do even more for their team.
The Bulls have a real chance of beating the Bucks if Khris Middleton misses the rest of the series. Dude dropped 40 points in Game 4 of the Finals. So crucial with his scoring and playmaking. Big stretch for Jrue, Giannis has to do even more otherworldly stuff. Bulls have a shot.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) April 21, 2022
Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo are going to have to do even more if they want to come out of this series on top. This is exactly why the Bulls can’t slow down and don’t need to adjust the game plan. Giannis is capable of doing even more so the Bulls must stick to what won them game 2. The team’s “big three” need to step up every game and ensure they win the next two in Chicago. Especially considering Milwaukee’s defense just got a little bit worse.
Attack, attack, attack
With the loss of Middleton, that’s going to open up the floor even more for the Bull’s starters. The Bucks now have one less starter on the floor which means the Bulls need to attack. Whether that be DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, or Zach LaVine they need to exploit it. Whoever steps in for Middleton isn’t going to play the same level of defense or offense as him. So whoever is being guarded by his backup needs to attack and make it count. Force the rest of the team to help defensively and find the open man. This is going to be a big focus going into the game tomorrow. The Bulls can’t let up and need to attack where the Bucks are the most vulnerable.
To Chicago, we go
The Bulls are back in Chicago and preparing for the third game against the Bucks. The United Center is going to be loud and filled with excited Bulls fans. Considering this news I can imagine it’s going to be absolutely insane for game 3. The Bulls players aren’t going to be worried about that. Right after the team’s victory in game three, they were already getting focused on what was coming next.
"Enjoy it. Learn from it. Get back to the same mentality." pic.twitter.com/if66s81u7L
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) April 21, 2022
This is exactly what you want to see from the Bulls as they go from one game to the next. Don’t treat it like you just won the series. Learn from what you just did and take that into the next game. Take it to Chicago and keep running with it. There will certainly be some minor adjustments based on tape and with the news that Middleton will be out. But overall keep the game plan the same and continue to execute. The Bulls 100% have a shot of taking this series and moving on to the second round. We will see more tomorrow night when the Bucks come to town. Prepare for a high-intensity game three and hopefully the Bulls come out on top again.