The Chicago Bulls will host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series tonight at the United Center. Games 1 and 2 in Milwaukee were competitive, as each team picked up a win. But Game 3 will be very different. Why will it be different you ask? That’s because Bucks guard Khris Middleton will be out with a knee injury. This presents Zach LaVine with an excellent opportunity to shine on the big stage.
Middleton is a three-time NBA All-Star. He is as good as a defender you will find at a wing position and ranks second in scoring on the Bucks. Middleton has defended Zach LaVine well so far this series, but the Bucks’ veteran will now miss 3-4 weeks due to an MCL sprain. Even with Middleton on him for a majority of Game 2, LaVine shot well (7-13) and scored 20 points.
We all know Zach LaVine has been dealing with a left knee issue since January. He hasn’t been the same explosive player Bulls fans have grown accustomed to over the last two years.
But the opportunity has now presented itself for him to be the go-to guy in Game 3. If he can follow the lead of DeMar DeRozan’s Game 2 performance, that would be the most ideal situation for the Bulls.
LaVine will have to push through the pain to reach another gear. After Game 2, it seems like DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic are locked in. If LaVine can elevate his play to that level, the Bulls might actually have a legitimate shot in this series against the defending NBA Champions.
We all know LaVine is already a highly motivated individual, but he seems especially excited to play his first playoff series in front of Bulls Nation at the United Center.
The hype is real, folks. The Madhouse will be rocking on Friday night for Game 3. There is nothing more that I want to see than a Chicago Bulls victory led by their two-time NBA All-Star, Zach LaVine. Seize the moment, Zach. It’s your time to shine.
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