3 things to watch for in Milwaukee Bucks series opener vs Chicago Bulls

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 21: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 21: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen, Brook Lopez
Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Which role player will step up for the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 (and beyond)?

The playoffs are all about stars and which stars can carry their team when the role players don’t have it going. But there are also times when role players need to step up to swing a game or series.

Bryn Forbes famously outscored Jimmy Butler in the first round of last year’s to help the Milwaukee Bucks sweep away the Miami Heat, so who will that be in this year’s first-round matchup?

Two likely candidates are Grayson Allen and Brook Lopez.

Lopez is an easy candidate for how well he played in the season series finale, dropping 28 points on 78 percent true shooting with two steals and three blocks (or five stocks). He dominated the Bulls’ frontcourt, getting to the line nine times and going 8-of-10 on 2-point shots.

Against opposing starting center Nikola Vucevic this season, Lopez shot 6-of-10 on 2s and drew a shooting foul. There just isn’t a whole heck of a lot the Bulls can do if Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo are being aggressive and attacking the basket.

He also dominated on the defensive end, holding Vucevic to 5-of-16 shooting on 2s this season.

If we want to go with someone outside of the starting five, Allen being in an expanded “Bryn Forbes role” is a great candidate.

Allen became public enemy number one for Bulls fans after his incident with Alex Caruso earlier this season. He’ll get booed a ton in Games 3 and 4 at United Center, but he’s no stranger to hostile environments from his days at Duke.

Allen wasn’t great against the Bulls this season, averaging 8.8 points and shooting 30 percent from 3 on 10 attempts. Chicago is great at limiting opponent 3-point attempts (second-lowest frequency, three percent below league average per Cleaning the Glass) so Allen’s spacing will be crucial.

Although his 3-point shooting wasn’t there, he did go 9-of-14 on 2s, dished out nine assists (six in the final game), and grabbed 13 rebounds to fill in the gaps. Allen could get hot in this series and make a big difference.

Milwaukee may not need a role player to step up in this series with how much success their big three should have, but it’ll be a good building block for future playoff series.

Next. Scouting report for Milwaukee Bucks in first round series vs. Chicago Bulls. dark

Enjoy Game 1 of the Milwaukee Bucks playoff run, folks!