The Milwaukee Bucks are moving onto the Eastern Conference Semifinals after dispatching the sixth-seeded Chicago Bulls 116-100 in Game 5. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a dominant performance, dropping in 33 points, 9 rebounds on 11-15 shooting. The Bucks move to 8-0 in closeout games under Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.
What went wrong for the Bulls:
The Chicago Bulls were missing Zach LaVine (COVID protocols) and Alex Caruso (concussion protocols) on Wednesday and that had an effect on the Bulls offensive output.
The Bulls shot 42 percent from the field, but only shot 28 percent from three. The Bulls did not have enough weapons from the outside, and Milwaukee could sit on Vucevic and DeRozan taking mid-range jumpers.
Losing Lonzo Ball in mid-January hurt, because they had the best record in the NBA over Christmas break, but on January 20, 2022, the Bulls announced Lonzo would miss 6-8 weeks to undergo surgery on a meniscus tear in his left knee. After that, the Bulls started sputtering and limped into the playoffs having to face off against the defending champions Milwaukee Bucks, and Lonzo being ruled out the rest of the season, it was going to be a tall task to knock off the Bucks.
What happened? Well the Bucks outside of Game 2, overwhelmed the Bulls with their size, speed, three point shooting prowess and overall being a better team from top to bottom.
What went right for the Bucks:
The Bucks lost Khris Middleton in Game 2 with an MCL Sprain, but it helps to have a player on the NBA’s Top 75 list to pick up the slack.
Giannis got whatever he wanted against the Bulls in Round 1.
The Bulls did not have a player who could stop Giannis from getting to the basket, as their tallest players are Nikola Vucevic who is 6’10” but is not a good rim protector, and Tristan Thompson who was virtually unplayable in this series. That left second-year pro Patrick Williams who is 6’7″ but leaving him out on an island against Giannis wasn’t a recipe for success.
The other key to this series, was the emergence of Grayson Allen. After scoring only three points in Game 2, Allen exploded for 22 points on 8-12 shooting and 5-7 from three in Game 3. Allen followed that up, with a Game 4 performance that was one for the ages. Allen had 27 points on 10-12 shooting and splashing in six threes. Allen proved that he can be the shot-maker the Bucks need if they hope to be back-to-back champs.
Speaking of shooters, Pat Connaughton showed up in a big way on Wednesday night.
Connaughton coming off the bench, dropped in 20 points on 7-11 shooting and swishing in six threes. Connaughton played a key role in the Bucks championship run last year, and with the addition of Grayson Allen to the bench fold, both will have an impact on how successful the Bucks are in the postseason.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics|Eastern Conference Semifinals |Sunday, May, 1 2022.|12:00 P.M.|ABC