3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ exciting win against the Chicago Bulls

Mar 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Mar 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Last night’s contest marked the second meeting of the season between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls, and it is one that many fans had circled on their calendars. There were plenty of fireworks when the two met for the first time back in January, and everyone wanted to know if any of it would carry over into this game. As expected, it was another thriller between the two teams.

The Bucks looked stellar throughout the first half, building up a lead as large as 14 points midway through the period. However, a sloppy close to the half set the stage for yet another poor showing in the third quarter, where Chicago outscored Milwaukee by 11 points. With their backs against the wall heading to the fourth, the Bucks rallied together and outscored the Bulls by 13 points across the final 12 minutes of action to secure the 118-112 victory.

It was a roller coaster ride from start to finish, and here are three takeaways from the contest.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ poor free throw shooting once again caused problems

The Bucks have simply not been a good free throw shooting team this year. They were incredibly efficient in their previous outing against the Miami Heat by going 24-of-27 from the line, but the hope that they could use that performance to build some momentum quickly faded last night. It was a tough night for the champs as they shot just 22-of-33 from the stripe, which kept Chicago in the game up until the final buzzer.

A significant portion of these struggles came from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had himself a down night. Following a perfect 11-for-11 performance against the Heat, the Greek Freak shot just 10-of-19 from the line against the Bulls. For whatever reason, Antetokounmpo struggled to find a groove all night, with a number of his free throw attempts coming up short by hitting the front of the rim. Thankfully, Antetokounmpo sunk a pair of free throws with less than 30 seconds left to play to put the Bucks up by five and ultimately secure the win.

Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton each missed a single free throw as well, as most of the attention was on Antetokounmpo. He had been shooting 85.4 percent from the line after the All-Star break in the previous three matchups, but his outing will certainly bring that percentage down. Hopefully this was just a bump in the road and Antetokounmpo can regain his footing moving forward, as his poor night at the stripe nearly proved fatal for the champs. Still, despite his struggles, it was great to see Antetokounmpo continue to attack and not shy away from having to step to the line.