A playoff preview? : A Bucks — Bulls preview

What to Watch For: Bucks (20-18)

Kenyon Martin, for better or worse, could figure prominently. Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova are both listed as out. The Bulls are a big team. Can a 37-year-old be productive in the second night of a back-to-back when it’s his second game in almost two years?

The Bucks could use more solid play from Zaza Pachulia and John Henson. Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah are all healthy and playing as the huge three-headed frontcourt monster Chicago has had its aims on all along. Henson, in particular, has a block percentage of 8.9% that is higher than any of the qualified NBA leaders.

What to Watch For: Bulls (25-12)

The Bulls got some poor shooting from a number of key players last night. Their starters made 17-of-51 field goal attempts last night (33.3%). Jimmy Butler made 2-of-12 shots. Derrick Rose made 1-of-7 three-pointers. You know how teams play Giannis to drive to the rim and dare him to shoot jumpers? With Rose shooting 25.5% from three this season and generally looking unconvinced by his own shots, the Bucks should be doing a lot of that tonight. Take away his drive and make him a shooter.

Having Kirk Hinrich out there instead of Mike Dunleavy or Doug McDermott causes spacing problems too.

Logistics

Time – 7:00 p.m. CST TV – FS Wisconsin Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

Bucks: Ersan Ilyasova (concussion; out); Larry Sanders (personal reasons; out); Jabari Parker (left ACL tear; out); Damien Inglis (post-surgery – right ankle; out)

Bulls: Mike Dunleavy (ankle) and Doug McDermott (knee) were inactive vs. the Wizards

Projected Lineups

Bucks: Brandon KnightKhris MiddletonGiannis Antetokounmpo – Johnny O’Bryant – Zaza Pachulia

Bulls: Derrick Rose – Kirk Hinrich – Jimmy Butler  – Pau Gasol – Joakim Noah

Choose the Form of the Destructor: Taj Gibson

I am a massive fan of the John Henson and Four Pass-Happy Shooters lineups. Most of those involve Jared Dudley playing the power forward, and he has done a great job as an undersized 4. But there are a few teams that have the multitalented, bruising power forwards coming off the bench and Taj is one of them. He’s been a Bucks killer for a long while now.

Prediction: Bucks 98 – Bulls 95, Brandon Knight has a dominant game

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