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Bulls vs. Bucks Preview: Chicago tries to stay alive in Eastern Conference playoff race

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The Bulls face another key division game in their quest for the playoffs(?)

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

After their win over the Detroit Pistons last week, the Chicago Bulls jumped their division rivals in the standings and sat 1 game behind the Miami Heat for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. With a game against the Philadelphia 76ers, it looked like it would be an easy night for Chicago but it turned out to be the exact opposite. Behind a big game from Dario Saric, the 76ers smacked Chicago at home and the fans were not happy at all.

The loss dropped Chicago to 34-39 and they are now 1.5 games behind Miami and are still tied with Detroit for 9th thanks to the Pistons getting walloped by the Orlando Magic 115-87. It seems like Chicago doesn’t want to make the playoffs but considering how bad the bottom half of the Eastern Conference has been this season (the Bulls are just 3.5 games out of the 5th seed), they might just sneak in. Don’t know if that is the best thing for them, however.

While Chicago comes limping into this matchup, the same can’t be said about their opponent the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee is one of the hottest teams in basketball at the moment. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games are on a three-game winning streak in which they most recently beat the Atlanta Hawks 100-97. The win moved the Bucks into a tie with Atlanta for 5th. But Milwaukee has to make sure to keep pace with Atlanta and not let the Pacers, who are one game behind both teams, catch up. Milwaukee is led by the combo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, who has been brilliant in his return from injury. Behind the 23.1 points, 5.4 assists, and 8.5 rebounds per game averages of the Greek Freak to go along with Middleton’s 15 points per game and excellent three-point shooting (45.3% from three), the Bucks are set offensively. They both will pose a challenge to a Bulls defense that has gotten crushed by Milwaukee earlier in the season. In the season series so far, Chicago is 0-3 with the Bucks winning all three games by double digits. That included that atrocious game where the Bulls only put up 69 points in the entire game. Nothing has really changed for Chicago defensively so expect Milwaukee to keep pouring in the points.

As for injuries for Chicago, Cristiano Felicio is out with a back injury.

Game Time: 2:30 PM CT

TV: Comcast Sports Net