3 keys for the Milwaukee Bucks to close out Chicago Bulls in Game 5

Apr 24, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis. Chicago Bulls: Nikola Vucevic
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 22: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The role players will need to continue to shine for the Milwaukee Bucks

I’m sure every Bucks fan had at least a reasonable level of confidence when Khris Middleton went down that they could still beat the Bulls, but I don’t think many could have predicted the contributions they’d get from their best role players to help buoy the offense without their All-Star wing.

Grayson Allen and Bobby Portis (aka Bobby Goggles, aka Bobby Bifocals) have come through with performances reminiscent of their early regular-season games when the Bucks were going through all of their injuries. If only someone wrote about the silver lining to those injuries being that the role players would get comfortable in expanded roles which would be useful in the playoffs. If only!

Anyway, in the last two games, Allen has averaged 24.5 points on 98.5 percent true shooting, going 11-of-14 from 3 as well as some nice finishes at the rim. Portis has brought his typical brand of high-energy ball which has led to him averaging 16 points and 13 rebounds in the last two games and shooting 41.7 percent from deep.

They’ve also picked up the slack for Brook Lopez who has cooled off after two strong scoring performances to open the series (but still remains a force on defense) and Pat Connaughton, who hasn’t had his breakout shooting game quite yet but we’re sure getting close, whether it’s in this series or next (should the Bucks advance).

If the Bucks can close out the Bulls, they’ll need strong performances from guys like Allen, Portis, and Connaughton whether Middleton is back or not. The Boston Celtics had arguably the best defense in the regular season and just shut down Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for the majority of their four-game sweep. It’ll be all hands on deck assuming the Bucks can win one out of the next three potential games.