One concerning stat for each Chicago Bulls starter vs Milwaukee Bucks

Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo. Chicago Bulls: Nikola Vucevic
Mar 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

As we inch closer and closer to the beginning of the NBA playoffs and the Milwaukee Bucks‘ first-round series, there’s still time to learn more about their upcoming opponent the Chicago Bulls.

A lot of the predictions around this series have the Bucks winning in four to six games, including no one at ESPN picking the Bulls to win the series with a clean 20 to nothing sweep across the board.

While I tend to agree that the Bucks should and will win this series, I want to give the Bulls credit. They were one of the league’s best teams in the first half of the season before injuries befell them and as a result, their defense fell off a cliff.

Although they have a solid starting five, I’d like to put a bit of the spotlight on them and pick out a key stat that Bucks fans should watch out for in this series that could be a concern for the Bulls.

Nikola Vucevic has struggled to score against the Milwaukee Bucks’ frontcourt

The Bulls’ big addition at last year’s trade deadline could play a big role in whether they can upset the defending champs in this series and it’s all about his offense.

Nikola Vucevic shot 31.4 percent from 3 on 4.5 attempts per game this season, his lowest 3-point percentage since 2017-18 when he first started to take 3s at a higher volume.

He’s a career 34.8 3-point shooter, so not elite but still in the same range as Brook Lopez for his career.

Vucevic shot nearly 41 percent on 22 total 3s in his four games against the Bucks and he could have similar success in this series from deep. Milwaukee allows the most above-the-break 3s at over 31 attempts per game, so pick-and-pop bigs like Vucevic tend to have success against them.

Where Vucevic will struggle, though, is against the size of Milwaukee’s frontcourt.

In the first two games against the Bucks this season, Vucevic shot 11-of-19 (nearly 60 percent) on 2-point attempts. In the last two games (the ones in which Brook Lopez played), Vucevic shot 7-of-23 (30.4 percent) on 2s.

Against Lopez specifically, he shot 5-of-16 inside the arc as the Bucks’ center made life miserable for the 31-year-old. Lopez’s presence could be a big factor in slowing down the entire Bulls offense, but his size against Vucevic, in particular, will be a big plus.