3 keys for Milwaukee Bucks to steal Game 3 on the road vs Chicago Bulls

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: Bobby Portis, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Chicago Bulls: Tristan Thompson, Patrick Williams
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 17: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Aside from Jrue Holiday, who else needs to step up for the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3?

Holiday is the obvious one for filling in Middleton’s offensive load as a scorer and passer. Brook Lopez has been great through two games and we can’t really ask for much more from him and Antetokounmpo. So who else can step up and fill the void left by the three-time All-Star?

Three obvious candidates are Bobby Portis, Grayson Allen, and Pat Connaughton who have shot a combined 4-of-22 from 3 in the first two games against the Bulls. That’s simply not going to cut it without Middleton.

I’d anticipate Connaughton steps into the starting lineup just for size purposes and being able to defend guys bigger than him. He was hit or miss after returning from his finger injury, shooting 33.3 percent in the last 11 games of the regular season. He hit multiple 3s in seven of those games, but also hit one or none in the other four. He brings more than 3-point shooting, but that’s going to be the biggest void that needs filling while Middleton is out.

Portis was also hit or miss down the stretch. He came out of the break shooting 49 percent from deep in the first seven games but shot 25 percent the rest of the way, including a 10-game stretch where he didn’t make multiple 3s and shot 16 percent. Beyond the 3-point shooting, he also can take advantage inside and get some good looks there as well, he shot 15-of-25 on 2s against Chicago this season.

It’s hard to knock Portis too much since he only played around six minutes in Game 2 after getting taken out due to a Tristan Thompson elbow to the face that went uncalled, but he’ll need to step it up a notch in terms of scoring, both inside and outside.

I just want Allen to shoot the ball more, period. Six total shot attempts in 40 minutes of this series isn’t good enough. He’s a role player, sure, so he’s not going to have things specifically designed for him and the Bulls will try to run him off the 3-point line but Allen is athletic and can get to the rim on drives against scrambled defenses.

The touches should be there for Allen with Middleton missing at least one game. If the Bucks could close out a series against the Atlanta Hawks in the Conference Finals without Antetokounmpo, they can close out this first-round series without Middleton.

dark. Next. Grades from the Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 2 loss to Chicago Bulls

The Milwaukee Bucks sans Middleton will look to re-take the series lead tonight at 7:30 pm CT in Chicago.