Well, how the times have changed. Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said that the Chicago Bulls will get killed by the Milwaukee Bucks in their first-round matchup.
Now, it isn't much of a surprise that he would say that. Barkley was all in on the Bulls earlier in the season. The team at one time was in the top ten of offensive and defensive efficiency in the entire league. The Bulls started the season off 38-21 despite COVID-19 and various injuries affecting their rotations.
After the NBA All-Star break, it all went downhill from there. The Bulls finished the season 8-15 in the second half. Zach LaVine tweaked his knee, Lonzo Ball never returned from a knee injury, and DeMar DeRozan was only able to carry the team for so long. Nikola Vucevic, arguably the team's biggest disappointment, has been wildly inconsistent all year as well. The magic the Bulls captured pre-All-Star break seemed to have disappeared.
So, as a Chicago Bulls fan, I can see where Barkley is coming from. They are preparing to battle the defending NBA Champions. Each and every night, Milwaukee will have the best player on the floor in Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks have size, shooting, defense, and the total package to once again win an NBA Title.
I wish I could say it's going to be different. I simply just cannot. The Bulls had a season of ups and downs, but there was growth in several areas. That's all I needed to see to feel comfortable moving forward. If the Bucks do end up "killing the Bulls", at least fans know this franchise is headed in the right direction.