The Milwaukee Bucks will try to start regaining some consistency when they entertain the Chicago Bulls at the Fiserv Forum on Friday night. Once completely on fire, the Bucks have alternated wins and losses over their last eight contests. Chicago is a dreadful 4-11 overall and coming off consecutive setbacks against Dallas and Boston
An especially bad loss
The Bulls have dropped back-to-back games and Wednesday’s loss was a brutal 111-82 trouncing at the Celtics’ hands. Chicago committed a ridiculous 22 turnovers in the setback.
“They came out and hit us in the mouth in the second quarter,” head coach Fred Hoiberg said of being outscored 32-11 in the second by Boston. “A huge thing in this league is, find a way to fight through adversity and play through tough times, and we obviously did not do that well.”
The Bulls played an energetic, solid first quarter, but ultimately the Celtics took over in the second until the end.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 15, 2018
Explosive shooting guard Zach LaVine had just 10 points against the Celtics after scoring at least 20 in each of the first 14 games of the season. LaVine, who averages 25.9 points, was just 3-of-11 from the field, and knew his lackluster outing didn’t help matters on a night in which Boston pulled away.
“We just weren’t scoring the ball,” LaVine lamented. “We were playing really good defense, but the floodgates opened up and we couldn’t respond.”
Dialing long distance
The Bucks attempt to bounce back from their first home loss of the season when they host the Bulls on Friday. They were outplayed down the stretch on Wednesday, when they suffered a 116-113 loss to the Grizzlies in the opener of a six-game home-stand. Milwaukee was just 9-of-35 from three-point range and swingman Khris Middleton missed a tying three-point attempt at the buzzer. Still, the early-season success of the Bucks has been partially due to the team’s long-range prowess; the team makes an NBA-leading 14.8 three-pointers per game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 31 points on 10-of-14 shooting in the loss to Memphis and topped 20 points in each of his last eight games. Antetokounmpo has four 30-point outings while averaging 25 points and is shooting 56 percent from the field despite being only 2-of-28 from 3-point range.
The Milwaukee Bucks are:
- 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight home games
- 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games against the Eestern Conference
- 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a loss
The Chicago Bulls are:
- 7-17 ATS in their last 24 road games
- 3-11 ATS in their last 14 road games against teams with winning home records
- 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games against teams with winning percentages over .600
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
For Milwaukee, Middleton scored 25 points against the Grizzlies and ranks fourth in the NBA with 47 made three-pointers. A red-hot Brook Lopez of all people is tied for seventh with 41 triples. The Bucks have done a good job bouncing back from losses and it is obvious that their performance against Memphis was an aberration as oppose to the rule. As for the Bulls, their showing against Boston was not out of the ordinary.
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks
Full-Game Total Pick
Chicago has failed to reach 100 points in four straight games and it is averaging 94.3 during this stretch. The losing team in five of the Bulls’ last six contests has not put up 100 points. Milwaukee rookie shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo (knee) was injured Wednesday and is questionable to play versus Chicago. The under is 4-0 in the Bulls’ last four overall, 4-1 in their last five against the Eastern Conference, 8-1 in their last nine following a loss, and 4-0 in their last four on the road against opponents with winning home records. Look for this one to stay under the total.