The Bulls transcended expectations and swept the Wizards in a 2-game series in Washington, the later game being a total shootout ending in a close win.
This team looks a lot better the last two games. We’ll have to see how much of that is due to the opponent. Even with the two wins, the Bulls defensive rating is ranked 21st in the league, but to be honest I expected that number to be worse.
Now on a back-to-back they travel to Milwaukee to face last season’s top seed in the Bucks. They have an extra day of rest, but interestingly did just have their own 2-game road series in Miami, where they followed up a massive blowout win (setting an NBA record for most three-point makes in a game) with an outright loss to the same JimmyButler-less Heat team. They have the same record as the Bulls, including a huge loss to the friggin’ Knicks. It’s gonna be a weird season, and the beginning especially so.
To that point, several Bulls remain out due to being placed in Covid protocol before that last Wizards game and they didn’t make the trip to Milwaukee. In descending order of importance: Lauri Markkanen, Tomas Satoransky, Chandler Hutchison, and Ryan Arcidiacono are all out.
We saw yesterday that it meant more minutes for Otto Porter, Thaddeus Young, and Daniel Gafford, and they all had very good games.
For the Bucks, Torrey Craig is out after breaking his nose. Milwaukee overall has less depth than last year and bumping up against the hard cap makes it tough for them to round out the roster. To the point where even a depleted bench for the Bulls may have an advantage over what Milwaukee puts out there after their top-5, which includes ex-Bulls Bobby Portis and DJ Augustin.
But obviously that top-5 for the Bucks is extremely good. It’d be nice to have some medium test instead of going directly to this from ‘Wizards-bad’, but this is what we got.