3 keys for the Milwaukee Bucks to take 3-1 lead over Chicago Bulls

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 22: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 22: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Jevon Carter. Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine
Mar 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks finally looked like themselves for the first time in the series, it led to a 30-point win in Game 3 to regain the series lead and have them looking to take a stranglehold over the Chicago Bulls today.

In their first game of the series without Khris Middleton, the Bucks’ role players all pitched in (specifically Grayson Allen and Bobby Portis) to pick up the slack and lead to easily their best performance of the series so far.

It was essentially what I expected them to do in Game 2 but it must have taken a loss to shock their system. Bucks fans will gladly take that so long as they take both games in Chicago and head back to Fiserv Forum for a closeout Game 5.

The Milwaukee Bucks need to continue to slow down Zach LaVine

While most of the attention from fans, media, and the Bucks’ defensive coverage has been focused on DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic (for good reason, they’re very good), how they’ve been able to contain Zach LaVine has also been impressive.

LaVine was the Bulls’ second-leading scorer during the regular season with 24.4 points on 60.5 percent true shooting but has been limited to 17.7 points on 54.1 percent true shooting through his first three career playoff games.

He’s still shooting nearly 39 percent on 18 3-point attempts (the same percentage as in the regular season), but he’s under 45 percent on 2-point attempts which is nearly 10 percent worse compared to the regular season.

Coming into this series, LaVine’s mid-range jumper was something I had my eye on after he saw a six percent drop in his percent on those shot attempts.

Well, it’s gotten worse for LaVine in three playoff games!

According to Cleaning the Glass, LaVine is shooting 4-of-14 on midrange shots which is in the ninth percentile among wings. He’s also shooting 58 percent at the rim, which is in the 27th percentile. I’d say that’s pretty bad for the Bulls!

Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez have given him the most trouble, shooting 4-of-16 against them on 2-point attempts, and has drawn zero shooting fouls on either! Milwaukee has done a great job this series of defending without fouling specifically on DeRozan, but also on the entire Bulls roster and you can see that with LaVine who got to the line 5.6 times per game in the regular season but has only averaged three free throws a game so far in this series.

LaVine got loose for an efficient 20-point game in the Bulls’ Game 2 win but otherwise has been held in check by the Bucks’ defense.