3 Milwaukee Bucks’ wild cards in first round series with 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: Grayson Allen, Chicago Bulls: Patrick Williams, Billy Donovan
Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks will begin their highly-anticipated title defense this Sunday when they host a familiar foe in the Chicago Bulls.

Although the Bucks swept the Bulls in their four-game regular season series, the postseason is a different setting, and both teams will have a chance to wipe the slate clean. This matchup will be a battle between two Central Division rivals, and although Milwaukee’s success will primarily hinge on the contributions from their stars, there are a handful of wild cards throughout the roster that could potentially be difference-makers in round one. With all that being said, let us look closer at three Bucks that could potentially be wild cards against the Bulls.

Grayson Allen will be a wild card for the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round versus Chicago Bulls

After what happened in January, Grayson Allen is a name that will be mentioned plenty of times in this series between the Bucks and Bulls. Of course, Allen received some backlash after a hard foul on Bulls guard Alex Caruso as it resulted in a fractured wrist for the latter that sidelined him for an extended period of time. Since then, Bulls fans have let their feelings about Allen be known, as the Chicagoans booed the guard whenever he touched the ball in the ensuing regular season contests between the two rivals. This animosity will certainly continue into the first round series, where the guard could potentially be a wild card for the defending champions due to his game offensively.

Allen has transitioned to a bench role after coach Mike Budenholzer made a late-season change to the starting five recently, and the guard has adapted well. Since the move, Allen has averaged nine points per contest while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from long distance. While his production has regressed since the swap, Allen’s shooting efficiency on offense has been stellar, and the Bucks should look to get him more involved. When Allen is clicking and getting his share of shot attempts, the guard is more than capable of pouring in 15 to 20 points in any game due to his reputable shooting, which could be useful in this playoff series.

The Bucks will need someone to provide a spark in the 3-point department throughout this series, given that they shot just 32 percent from deep in the four regular season games. Given how well Allen has shot it this season, he seems like the ideal player for the job. If the guard can carry over his recent efficiency into the playoffs, he must emphasize being more aggressive when the ball is in his hands and the looks are there for the taking. Allen’s aggressiveness could help him have a Bryn Forbes-type series for the Bucks in this series if he can find a groove.