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: Jrue Holiday. Chicago Bulls: DeMar DeRozan
Mar 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Can the Milwaukee Bucks stop DeMar DeRozan from getting to the free-throw line?

One thing I regretted when I did my full spotlight on DeMar DeRozan heading into this series was that I didn’t put enough emphasis on how good he is at drawing fouls and getting to the line.

DeRozan took and made the third most free throws this season, falling behind Antetokounmpo (second) and Joel Embiid (first). His 38.6 percent free throw rate was actually a down year for him in terms of getting to the line as it was the eighth-best of his 15-year career (if you were wondering, his best was 47.8 percent last season).

His season-high in attempts and makes both came against the Bucks in their January 21st matchup where he went 17-of-18 at the charity stripe and was otherworldly at drawing contact against the Bucks’ defenders.

However, the Bucks being the Bucks (aka being really good and able to adjust), held him to 13 total free throw attempts in the next three meetings combined, including zero in the final matchup.

A lot of DeRozan’s playoff struggles have come from not being able to get to the line as often as he does in the regular season. He has a 32.6 percent free throw rate in his last 51 playoff games, a nearly nine percent dropoff from the regular season.

If the Bucks can defend DeRozan as they did in the final three matchups from the regular season and the trend continues that he doesn’t get the same type of foul calls that he does in the regular season, then the series gets even easier for Milwaukee.