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When and where: February 11, 2019, United Center, Chicago, IL, 8:00 PM ET
The Chicago Bulls face the daunting task of hosting the Milwaukee Bucks in Monday’s NBA Eastern Conference action. Perhaps hope can be taken from the Orlando Magic knocking off the Bucks and ending a six-game win streak on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Bulls are coming off their 10th consecutive loss at home to the Washington Wizards.
Bucks struggle without Antetokounmpo
There really is no excuse for the Bucks losing at home in lopsided fashion to the Magic on Saturday night. If the top-ranked team in the Eastern Conference needs its best player, perennial All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, to beat the Magic, they can forget about any real shot of advancing to the NBA Finals this season.
Granted, they also didn’t have Nikola Mirotic on the floor, either, which was another huge hit to their offense. But they still had Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, Brooke Lopez and Malcolm Brogdon. Yet, all they could muster over the course of a 48-minute game against the 11th-ranked team in the Eastern Conference was 83 points.
The Bucks shot a horrendous 32.6 percent from the floor and 17.1 percent from 3-point land. Middleton, Brogdon and Lopez shot a combined 0-14 from beyond the arc. Bledsoe le
d the team with 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in the 103-83 loss. Middleton also netted a double-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while Brogdon contributed 14 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Bulls face Parker and Portis
The Bulls ran into a pair of familiar faces in Saturday’s game against the Wizards. Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis, who were both part of a blockbuster trade for Otto Porter, returned to Chicago with an appetite for vengeance. They left with their bellies full at the expense of the struggling Bulls team that shipped them as far east as possible.
“I got my first taste of the business side of basketball,” Portis said after the game, via ESPN.com. “You don’t really get your way all the time. It’s not really your choice. I have to roll with it now. I was hurt the last, what, 48 hours, but when I got into the game yesterday those hurt emotions went away.”
The Bulls shot the ball well from the floor, but they struggled throughout the game to get back on defense. It wasn’t surprising considering they are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. The Wizards ran the score up for a 134-125 win on the road. Porter, the former Wizards forward, scored 17 points against his former team.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine finished the game with a team-high 26 points, four rebounds and six assists, while center Robin Lopez contributed 18 points, three rebounds and two blocks.
- Bulls are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in the previous game
- Bulls are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games playing on 1 days rest
- Bulls are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 home games
- Bulls are 3-11 ATS in their last 14 Monday games
- Bucks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game
- Bucks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games against teams with a home winning % of less than .400
- Bucks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in the previous game
- Bucks are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games after a straight up loss
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Unfortunately for the Bulls, Antetokounmpo is expected return to action on Monday. He was removed from the injury report on Sunday after missing Saturday’s game against the Magic. That likely means he’ll get the green light to wreak havoc on the Bulls’ struggling defense.
We’ve already seen this story play out two other times this season. The Greek Freak heaped back-to-back double-double performances in the two games he’s played against the Bulls. In his last outing against the Bulls, he notched a sensational 36-point performance under his belt. The Bulls don’t have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Bucks, and they also lack the defensive ability to slow down Antetokounmpo.
That sets the stage for a long night of playing catch-up for a young Bulls team that is 5-22 at home. The Bucks have more than triple the number of wins on the road than the Bulls have at home. An average of 102.9 points per game, along with a 45.0 average shooting percentage, isn’t going to cut it against arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference. Give me the Bucks in this game.
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is 6-2 in the last eight head-to-head meetings between the Bulls and Bucks. While the Bulls have struggled offensively, they have shown the ability to play to the level of their competition at home at times, even if they fail to come away with a victory. The Bucks have the second-best scoring offense in the league behind the Golden State Warriors, but I expect the Bulls to at least make things interesting enough to take the over in this game.