It is a high-risk Match 4 that will be played this Sunday afternoon at the United Center in Chicago. Crushed in the third game of the series, the Bulls are forced to react to avoid returning to Milwaukee led 3-1.
In the first half the scenario is quite similar to that of Game 3. Because after a controversial and interesting first quarter (25-22 Bucks), during which the two teams proceed quite easily in attack (10/20 Milwaukee, 10/21 Chicago ), in the second quarter the gap between the two teams widens and the Bucks stand out, pushed by a very good Giannis Antetokounmpo (12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists), perfectly integrated by his lieutenants (Grayson Allen at 16 points, Bobby Portis and Jrue Holiday at 11 points).
Thanks to this second quarter at 31 points (22/12), Milwaukee aims for +15 at the interval (56-41). Despite a good start to the game, the Bulls are therefore far behind on the counterattack, the fault of an attack that is too ineffective (18/43 in the first half) to worry the Bucks.
After half-time, the Bulls returned to battle with much better intensity than in the first half: they quickly picked up 9 points from the Bucks after an 11-0 start in the third quarter. The reigning champions, after a time-out, reacted without delay, under the pressure of the angry “Greek Freak” (25 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists) and a hot as a firebrand Grayson Allen (25 points, 6 / 7 to 3 -indicators). Despite a brief burst of pride from the Bulls, the gap is still consistent after 36 minutes (90-74).
After a final act still dominated by the Bucks, the Bulls have lost for the second consecutive time at home in this series. Once again dominated in the big widths despite an encouraging first quarter, Billy Donovan’s men are now down 3-1 and returned to the block before heading to Milwaukee for Game 5.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Alex Caruso out due to injury. After taking a shot in the face in the second quarter, the Chicago guard returned to the locker room and never returned to the pitch. At half-time, ESPN announced that the player was taking exams to determine the severity of the shock. Invisible in attack (0 points, 0/1), he had made himself useful with his high defensive activity, as usual, before going out (4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 interception, 2 blocks). One more blow for the Bulls, who already have to do without Lonzo Ball, another excellent winger.
– Grayson Allen, at ease at the United Center. Very good during game 3, despite the constant whistles of the United Center spectators, Milwaukee’s back chained in the fourth inning. Valuable for his moves away from the ball, the former Blue Devil torpedoed the Bulls behind the arc (27 points, 6/7 from 3 points), constantly gravitating around Giannis Antetokounmpo, who served him without moderation. A sworn enemy in Chicago prior to the series, he silenced United Center by cutting the Bulls’ defense in Game 3 and Game 4.
– Attack of the Bulls in slow motion. It’s hard to win a playoff game when you convert only 35 out of 90 attempts. That’s 38.9% success (9/25 3-point, 25%) and obviously not enough to worry the Bucks. The Bulls offense is at its worst, as are the match torches of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Not ideal before going to play a crucial game 5 in Milwaukee.
TOP / FLOPS
✅ Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek was not going to drag himself to Chicago, and he did what it took in this Game 4 to sink the Bulls. In 35 minutes he collected 32 points (11/22), 17 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks. An XXL performance that pushes the Bucks into another dimension against these valiant Bulls, but far too limited.
✅ his lieutenants. Even without Khris Middleton, the Bucks attack is running at full speed. The Greek Freak festival obviously has something to do with this, but we also have to give credit to its lieutenants. To Grayson Allen first of all, who played the arsonists from the bench, but also to Jrue Holiday (26 points and 7 assists) and Bobby Portis (14 points and 10 rebounds), who allowed Giannis Antetokounmpo to increase the offensive options around.
⛔️ The bench of the Bulls. Disappointing in Game 3, the Bulls substitutes did not do better during this fourth game. They complete 17 points in total, including 13 in the first half. Useful only Ayo Dosunmu, who scored 8 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. When the best player on the bench is a rookie, that’s rarely a good sign …
⛔️ De Mar De Rozan. The Chicago winger certainly finished with 23 points, but he scored some points in the last quarter, when the outcome of the match had already been decided long minutes ago. Still clumsy (8/20, 0/5 to 3 points), he struggles to weigh offensively in this series, with the exception of Game 2, and the Bulls attack takes a hit. Now back on the wall with his teammates, he must wake up in Game 5 to stop the Bucks from sending them on vacation.
Game 5: in Milwaukee, on the night between Wednesday and Thursday, time to be defined