NBA Playoffs Tips & Preview – Bulls @ Bucks (Game 2)

The playoffs are underway and the daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for Game 2 as Milwaukee Bucks aim to double their lead over Chicago Bulls. 

11:30 (AEST), Thu 21st Apr @ Fiserv Forum

History: Played 278: Bulls 140 V Bucks 138

Last meeting: April 18, 2022: Bucks 93 d Bulls 86 at Fiserv Forum

Final Thoughts: After grinding out an ugly win in the series opener in Milwaukee, the Bucks will be eager to stamp their authority on the playoffs with a 2-0 lead over the Bulls before the First Round rubber moves to Chicago.

The Bucks opened up a 13-point lead by the end of the third quarter before rallying late for a 93-86 victory. The Bulls had the lead midway through the fourth quarter and trailed by just one with 1:36 left. The scoreline represented both teams’ second-lowest points tally this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (27 pts, 16 reb) was typically dominant for the Bucks, while Jrue Holiday (15 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast) was busy and Brook Lopez (18 pts, 5 reb) had a big fourth quarter. Bulls big man Nikola Vucevic (24 pts, 17 reb) got through plenty of work, and DeMar DeRozan (18 pts, 8 reb, 6 ast, 3 stl) and Zach LaVine (18 pts, 10 reb) never stopped trying.

But Chicago endured an appalling shooting night, with Vucevic and DeRozan struggling most. They shot just 32.3 percent from the floor and hit only seven of their 37 three-point attempts. Milwaukee weren’t great either (40.5 percent shooting, 10 of 38 3PM) but it was enough to get the result.

It was the Bucks’ 17th win from their last 18 games against the Bulls, after winning the teams’ four regular-season clashes by an average margin of 14.8 points.

The Bucks are 28-14 at home this season (16-26 ATS), winning eight of their last 10 at Fiserv Forum. The Bulls are now 19-23 on the road (18-23-1 ATS) and have won just four of their last 14 away.

It’s hard to imagine the Bulls shooting so poorly again in Game 2, so they will take some confidence from clawing back a big deficit in the opener. The Bucks – $1.18 favourites here – shape as likely winners, but the Bulls look a solid shout to cover a double-digit line again.

Best Bet: Handicap – Bulls +10.5 @ $1.80

Same Game Multi: Margin – Bucks 1-10; Total – Under 224.5; Giannis Antetokounmpo Points – Under 32.5; DeMar DeRozan Points – Under 27.5 @ $16.22