It’ll be a matchup between the top and bottom of the rankings on Monday as the Chicago Bulls (5-0, 3-0 home) welcome the Milwaukee Bucks (0-4, 0-3 road) to the United Center for some preseason basketball. The Bucks, after six days off, look to steal their first win of the season away from the Bulls, who have been on an absolute tear this preseason.
This year’s Bulls squad on paper is awfully familiar to the team the Bucks split 2 wins and 2 losses with last season. Except the Bulls now have former Milwaukee sharpshooter Mike Dunleavy on their roster. Oh yeah, and this guy’s back. “That guy” is Derrick Rose, 2011 NBA MVP who missed all of last season with a torn ACL and now returns looking to rec havoc on the NBA and take the Bulls back to an elite status once again. On Friday night he dropped 32 points and 9 assists on 9-15 shooting. Yikes.
Projected Staters: Bulls: Derrick Rose, Mike Dunleavy, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Nazr Mohammed Bucks: Brandon Knight, O.J. Mayo, Caron Butler, John Henson, Larry Sanders
Injuries: Chicago will be without Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich, and former Marquette University grad Jimmy Butler for tonights game. Out for the Bucks is Carlos Delfino (foot), Ersan Ilyasova (knee) and Ekpe Udoh (ankle). According to Jim Paschke, we could see limited minutes for newly-acquired center Zaza Pachulia, who has been battling a nagging achilles injury this offseason.
Prediction: I think the Bucks will be competitive in this game considering the injuries Chicago is dealing with, but in the end Derrick Rose will be too much to deal with. Bulls 96, Bucks 87
Bucks vs. Bulls tickets are still available if you’re looking to catch Milwaukee on the road.