The Chicago Bulls fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening game of their first-round NBA Playoff series on Sunday night. The Bucks, who are the defending NBA Champions, are a heavy favorite in this matchup. If there was any game in the series for Chicago to steal, Game 1 was probably going to be the easiest. The Bulls ultimately lost 93-86 largely due to their “big three” struggling to shoot the ball efficiently, seemingly unable to break out of the “funk” they were in from tip-off.
DeMar DeRozan had a highly uncharacteristic shooting performance in the loss. He shot 6-25 from the field and finished the night with 18 points. It’s not often the five-time NBA All-Star shoots that poorly.
Trying to put his finger on the struggles, DeRozan said, “I don’t know what the hell is going on. Probably a week off.”
But the veteran forward “guarantee[s]” he, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic will convert more consistently as the series continues.
For context, LaVine and Vucevic shot poorly as well. LaVine went 6-19 from the field and finished with 18 points. Vucevic shot 9-27 for 24 points. However, the Bulls’ big man had a strong surge in the third quarter that helped Chicago finally gain the lead for a short time.
DeMar DeRozan’s career playoff numbers aren’t overly encouraging. He has shot 41% from the field and 22% from downtown in 59 postseason contests. However, even tallying those figures would be a major improvement from his 24% mark from the field in Game 1.
As the Chicago Bulls look to bounce back in Game 2, they’ll need DeRozan’s guarantee to come to fruition. Keeping up with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks is a tall task, but the Bulls will certainly have better odds if their “Big Three” contribute more consistently.
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