3 things to watch as Milwaukee Bucks try to rebound vs 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: Khris Middleton. Chicago Bulls: Ayo Dosunmu
Jan 21, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /

If I wanted to be a downer, I’d say that the Milwaukee Bucks have lost three of their last five games! That sounds bad! In reality, going 2-3 in a stretch isn’t much to be concerned about but it would be nice to see a bounce-back performance tonight.

This will be the fourth and final meeting against the Chicago Bulls this season and, for as improved as the Bulls have been this season, they’re still on the verge of being swept in the season series by the Bucks.

Both teams still have something to play for in terms of seeding and this could be a first-round matchup if things play out a certain way. There are only four games left in the regular season for Milwaukee and the next two are against teams that are top six seeds in the Eastern Conference so they still have a couple more chances to ramp up heading into the playoffs.

The Khris Middleton cycle needs to get to the “starts to play better” part for the Milwaukee Bucks

Perhaps I was a little too optimistic that we’d get to that part of the Khris Middleton cycle after only three relatively underwhelming performances.

Well, we got possibly his worst game of the season on Sunday (Basketball Reference’s game score metric has it as his third-worst) and we may have hit the “gets criticized by the media” part of the cycle.

Tonight’s game against the Bulls gives him the chance to get to the “starts to play better” part of the cycle as we head into the playoffs.

He’s been… fine against the Bulls this season. In two games, he’s averaging 19 points on 55 percent true shooting along with 8.0 rebounds, and 6.5 assists. He’s only shot 2-of-8 from 3 and 6-of-10 from the line, both well below his season averages so there’s a chance we get a bounce-back night from him.

Rookie Ayo Dosunmu has taken the majority of the Middleton assignment and the veteran has shot 6-of-10 on 2s against him while drawing two shooting fouls. He’s gone 1-of-8 on 3s and at the line combined against Dosunmu; expect a better performance in both areas tonight.

Dosunmu is exactly the type of player Middleton likes to go up against, someone smaller that he can bully and shoot over the top of when taking those difficult shots. Although with Pat Williams and Alex Caruso back, they may look to put a bigger and stronger defender on Middleton.

Middleton will turn it around, it’s part of the cycle, it’s just a matter of when.