Ultimate preview for Milwaukee Bucks playoff matchup vs Chicago Bulls

Jan 21, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Michael McLoone-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 /

What players are saying about the Milwaukee Bucks versus the Chicago Bulls

Sure, hearing all the praise from national media members is great, but what are the guys who are playing the games saying about this series?

The Milwaukee Bucks aren’t very outwardly confident in the way that younger teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves are, but they have quiet confidence in themselves (especially after the championship) that they’re ready going into this first-round matchup.

A big talking point coming into this series is that the Bucks will need to try to keep DeMar DeRozan off the free-throw line, which can be difficult with how good he is at drawing contact and creating fouls by being aggressive on offense. Jrue Holiday spoke to reporters on the matchup against DeRozan and what it will be like trying to play tough defense without fouling.

"“Mental toughness, concentration, practicing it in practice, playing against him four times already and just trying to have a feel for it. You obviously know that first game or just the intensity of the playoffs, you get excited and your energy is up. So that’s definitely likely that you can pick up a quick foul or something but I think it’s just concentration and being the best player that you can.”"

DeRozan got to the line a season-high 18 times against the Bucks in their first meeting, but they were able to hold him to only 13 attempts in the following three games combined, including a goose egg in the final game. Holiday against DeRozan is one of the biggest matchups to watch in this one.

As for the Bulls, they’re coming in with a lot of key guys that haven’t played in the NBA playoffs before. Zach LaVine, Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, and Patrick Williams will all be getting their first taste of playoff basketball, but Williams actually has experience seeing what Fiserv Forum can be like in the postseason.

"“Playoffs is a different breed, though. I went to the Bucks, Nets game in Milwaukee. Hoo! Just like walking in the gym, I got goosebumps. Like, the whole game. I’m like ‘Yeah, I need to be here. This is where we need to be at.'”"

As for being the underdogs in this series, Dosunmu isn’t worried about it.

Although they had a tough ending to the regular season, the Bulls are confident after starting the season well that they can beat the defending champs. We’ll see about that!