3 keys as the Milwaukee Bucks return home 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 /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Nwora, Wesley Matthews, Chicago Bulls: DeMar DeRozan
Mar 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Ending a road trip with a loss always leaves a bad taste in your mouth, especially when you lose by nearly 20 points and generally don’t look very good. But the Milwaukee Bucks will have a chance to put that behind them tonight against the Chicago Bulls in a very crucial Eastern Conference clash.

The Bucks are two games up on the Bulls in the conference as well as the Central Division. You may think that the division doesn’t matter, but in the event of a tiebreak scenario, winning the division would factor into those tiebreak scenarios. I hate that the NBA still values division winners.

In terms of head-to-head meetings between these teams, the Bucks have won the first two and could pick up the tiebreaker over the Bulls with a win in the third meeting. Chicago is on the second night of a back-to-back as well, so that makes things a little easier for Milwaukee.

Can the Milwaukee Bucks’ 3-point defense rebound against the Chicago Bulls?

Although the Bucks have been on a roll lately, their defense has been… less than stellar. Since the All-Star break, the Bucks have posted a 115.9 defensive rating and that is a bit of a problem! Sure, they’ve been great offensively, but not getting stops has been a problem.

A large part of those defensive… frustrations… has been opponent 3-point shooting. Now, it’s no surprise that the Bucks have allowed a ton of 3s, that’s sort of their thing. But they’re also getting pretty unlucky in that regard.

Since the break, the Bucks have allowed the third-most 3-point attempts at 39.5 and opponents have shot the second-highest percent on those attempts at nearly 40 percent, so nearly five percent above league average.

That was exacerbated during their four-game road trip when their opponent shot almost 46 3s per game against them and hit on nearly 40 percent of them.

The good news is that the Bulls take the fewest 3s per game at 29.2! The bad news is that when they do shoot them, they make them at the second-best rate in the league at 37.2 percent.

Chicago shot a dreadful 18 percent in the first meeting (38 attempts) and 38 percent in the second (26 attempts).

There’s really no way to predict how 3-point defense will go other than hoping that the other team misses. The Bulls have missed a lot once before, so perhaps it’ll happen again and the Bucks’ 3-point shooting luck turns.