3 players of interest in Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls Game 2

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 17 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 17 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, Chicago Bulls: DeMar DeRozan
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 17 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls kicked off their first round series this past Sunday with a tense back and forth battle that went down to the wire. It was far from pretty, but the Bucks took control late in the opening contest to secure the Game 1 victory and strike first in this series.

With Game 1 in the rearview, both teams will be focusing on tonight’s Game 2 clash in Milwaukee. This is an important game for each side, and let us take a look at three players of interest that may dictate how the second game in this series could play out.

Khris Middleton will be a player of interest as the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Chicago Bulls in Game 2

It was undoubtedly a tough outing for Khris Middleton in Game 1. The forward played far below his typical standards as he scored just 11 points on an abysmal 4-of-13 field shooting, which included knocking down one of his 3-pointers in seven attempts. Along with his ugly shooting performance, Middleton tallied a game-high seven turnovers. Although the Bucks still won in spite of this brutal outing from Middleton, they desperately need to get him back on the right track in Game 2.

It goes without saying that Middleton is capable of playing better than this, and it starts with him finding a groove from behind the arc. Per NBA.com/stats, five of Middleton’s seven 3-point looks were “open” in Game 1, meaning he was given four-to-six feet of space, and he missed every one. The looks will continue to be there for the forward, and he must knock them down when given the chance. As for the turnovers, Middleton just has to make better decisions. His passing in the first game was grueling to watch, as virtually all of his mistakes could have been avoided.

Hopefully Game 1 was a “feel it out” performance from Middleton, as the opening games in these playoff matchups oftentimes are for the Bucks. In Game 2, the All-Star should look to come out on the offensive end with an aggressive mindset in an attempt to get himself going. If he can see his first few shots fall through the net, it would help him shake off that Game 1 rust tremendously. As for the turnovers, Middleton must simply make smarter choices and be more careful when he is a facilitator. It will be fascinating to see how he responds after a rather sluggish Game 1.