Milwaukee Bucks playoff opponent spotlight: DeMar DeRozan

Mar 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Chicago Bulls: DeMar DeRozan
Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

DeMar DeRozan against the Milwaukee Bucks this season

DeMar DeRozan and the Milwaukee Bucks are very familiar with each other as he played in all four games against them this season and had some pretty notable scoring outbursts.

He averaged over 31 points on 56.5 percent true shooting to go along with 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in over 37 minutes a night against the defending champs this season. Despite his career-best 3-point shooting season, DeRozan shot 23.1 percent on 13 attempts from behind the arc against the Bucks.

What he lacked in 3-point shooting he made up for by getting to the line frequently. He went 30-of-31 from the line against Milwaukee this season, including a 17-of-18 game in their first meeting.

DeRozan’s two best games against the Bucks came at the beginning and end of the season series. In that first meeting, he got to the line a ton, scored 35 points on 18 shots, and was a plus-one in a four-point loss. In the fourth game, DeRozan scored 40 points on 68 percent true shooting, hitting 16-of-24 on 2s, and had six assists.

However, after being on the positive side of the plus/minus stat in his first game (barely), he was a combined minus-54 in the final three games, which the Bulls lost by a combined 55 points. The worst differential was his minus-21 in a six-point loss. Single-game plus/minus can be quite noisy, but that made me raise an eyebrow.

So with two very good games and two below-average performances against the Bucks this season, how will they plan on defending the five-time All-Star in this first-round matchup?