The Milwaukee Bucks’ rivalry with Chicago Bulls could rekindle this season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 20 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 20 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

With a rivalry dating back decades, the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls have had their share of noteworthy clashes over the years.

Throughout the 255 regular season battles between the two Central Division rivals, the Bulls own the current bragging rights as they have 132 wins to the Bucks’ 123, per Land of Basketball. The postseason is a different story as these two have met on four different occasions, with each team winning two apiece. The Bucks emphatically swept the Bulls 4-0 in their meeting during the 1974 Western Conference Finals and defeated them 3-1 in the opening round of the 1985 postseason, Michael Jordan’s rookie year in Chicago. The Bulls have since evened things up after they sent the Bucks home in the 1990 playoffs with a 3-1 victory in the first round and then defeated them 4-2 in the 2015 first round.

Following that eventful 2015 playoff series, the well-known rivalry between these two teams has quieted down, especially lately. Since Mike Budenholzer took over as the Bucks head coach before the 2018-19 season, Milwaukee is 6-1 against Chicago. The lone game that the Bucks did lose to the Bulls was on the final night of the 2020-21 regular season, where the eventful champions sat every starter and half of their bench to get some rest before the postseason. Even then, they only lost by six points in what was a thrilling game. This once-historic rivalry has been lopsided during the past few seasons, but it looks like that could change this year.

The rivalry between the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls could be better than ever this season

After missing the playoffs for four consecutive seasons, the Bulls did not spare any expense to retool the roster in the offseason. They swung a sign-and-trade for Lonzo Ball to upgrade at the point guard position and then added a quality backup behind him in Alex Caruso. These two have worked wonders for Chicago’s defense and have been a terror for opposing offenses. They added several other solid rotational players like Derrick Jones Jr., Javonte Green, and Ayo Dosunmu, but their biggest acquisition has to be the DeMar DeRozan sign-and-trade. Once viewed as a massive mistake by outsiders, DeRozan has quickly silenced that sentiment as he is playing the best ball of his career in Chicago and looks like not just an All-Star, but an All-Star starter and All-NBA player.

With all of these newcomers joining an already formidable duo in Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls have catapulted to the top of the East this season with a 24-10 record. With the Bulls on top, LaVine playing like an All-Star, DeRozan knocking down game-winners on the regular, and the guards doing their part, the Bulls have put the league on notice. As Chicago looks to build off their strong start to the season, Bucks and Bulls fans are anxious for the two teams to meet to see if they can get this rivalry back off the ground and running. The Bucks have not been slouches either as they are just one game back from the East’s top seed with a 23-13 overall record on the year, meaning there are bound to be fireworks when these two teams meet.

Both teams boast their share of star power. While the Bulls have a top-tier leading trio in LaVine, DeRozan, and Vucevic, the Bucks have one as well in Giannis Anetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday. Each trio has a well-rounded supporting cast as well that complements their stars to perfection. Though everyone can speculate all day about how the two teams match up against one another, the best thing to do is sit and wait until they finally square off.

Despite being in the same division, the Bucks and Bulls have not met this season and will not do so until later this month on January 21. They will then meet three more times, with meetings on March 4, March 22, and April 5. Everyone should circle those dates on their calendars because it will be must-see television when these teams two hit the screen.

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This season could begin the next chapter of the Milwaukee Bucks-Chicago Bulls historic rivalry.