THE BULLS HAVE A SNEAKY-GOOD ROSTER
The Chicago Bulls, despite a string of questionable front office decisions and in-team craziness, have still managed to put together a decent roster, one that you can still lean hope into.
Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, who they both got back when they shipped Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017, are now the two main catalysts on offense – LaVine led the team in scoring this past season (23.7 PG), while Markkanen, a sweet-shooting big man, continued to show flashes of what he can be (18.7 PPG, 9.0 RPG).
The two should receive quality help from everywhere. Otto Porter, for one, averaged 17.5 PPG upon joining the team following the 2019 trade deadline.
Along with Porter are 2018 1st round draft pick and versatile big man, Wendell Carter, 2019 1st round pick and possible point guard of the future, Coby White, and veteran newcomer Thaddeus Young. All are a great mixture of talent that can boost the Bulls on both ends of the floor.
REDEMPTION ON THEIR MINDS, THE MVP ON THEIR SIDE
The road to redemption begins for the Milwaukee Bucks, who got eliminated by the eventual champion Toronto Raptors in six games last season. It was an embarrassing exit, as they were poised to win the Eastern Conference title before losing four-straight games following a 2-0 series lead.
Still, Milwaukee’s basketball future should be bright. They have Giannis Antetokounmpo on their corner, the reigning Most Valuable Player, a monster that’s still improving his game. “The Greek Freak” continued to smash the stat sheet in the 2018-19 campaign, putting up 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game on 57.8-percent shooting, all of which are career-highs.
Don’t let the gaudy numbers fool you. Antetokounmpo and isn’t a classic case of a man carrying the whole team on his back. The Bucks are well-coached under Mike Budenholzer – a Gregg Poppovich disciple – as proven by how he stirred the team into posting a league-leading 60-22 record and 118.1 PPG.
Leading the MVP’s supporting cast is co-All-Star Khris Middleton, a do-it-all swingman with a great stroke from the outside. Middleton has been the Bucks’ no. 2 man over the last two seasons, averaging 19.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game during that span.
WHO COMES OUT ON TOP?
As always, the stars will take somewhat of a backseat for the game, with the second unit getting most of the playing time.
The Bulls may have an upper hand in that scenario, with speedy playmaker, Coby White, possibly gaining most of the spotlight. Expect the former North Carolina Tar Heel to impose his shiftiness and mid-range game, en route to a Bulls victory.