Sunday, October 2, 2022

The Chicago Bulls secured their first playoff berth since 2017. Now there are 3 games left for them to be seeded in the East – 5th or 6th.

The Chicago Bulls secured their first playoff berth since 2017. Now there are 3 games left for them to be seeded in the East - 5th or 6th.

Demar DeRozan’s 40 points were not even enough for the Chicago Bulls to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in their final meeting of the regular season.

But the news was not bad for the Bulls on Tuesday night, despite a 127-106 loss at United centre. He secured his first playoff berth since 2017 when the Orlando Magic lifted the Cleveland Cavaliers on the night.

With the Bulls struggling through a 7-13 fall since the All-Star break, DeRozan said a consolidating playoff position offers new hope in the final three games of the regular season.

“This is an opportunity. This is an opportunity,” DeRozan said. “It would be different if we weren’t making it and we were talking about next year. There’s still an opportunity, an opportunity to take it and use these next few games to go in the right direction – that’s it.” Everything is there.

“As long as you’re playing good basketball at the right time, you have an opportunity, anything can happen.”

After Zach LaVine was sidelined for the night to manage an ongoing left knee injury, DeRozan shouldered most of the production for the Bulls offense.

By the end of the third quarter, he had 40 points and had made all eight of the team’s free throws. His three-point game went into the third cut with 2:24 to lead the Bucks – which was 21 points – at 10 at 86-76.

But as DeRozan didn’t score in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, head coach Billy Donovan benched his star to rest his feet for Wednesday’s game against the Boston Celtics.

The defeat capped off a season sweep by the Bucks, who dominated the Bulls in their last two matchups, and it highlighted just how impressive injuries can be in the playoffs for the Bulls, without LaVine steady on offense. They went.

Patrick Williams earned his first start in LaVine’s absence since October, finishing with a season-high 18 points. Coby White was the only other Bull to score in double digits, finishing with 13 points and shooting 3-for-7 from 3-point range.

Nikola Vusevic offered a rare charm to Bulls fans by elbowing Bucks guard Grayson Allen on the head in the fourth quarter and sending him crashing down the court. Allen earned the ire of the Bulls for fracturing Alex Caruso’s wrist in January.

Vusevic avoided a major foul in the play, which was declared dead due to an offensive foul shortly before making contact with Allen.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer advocated for Vusevic to receive a major foul to the referee, and he criticized the play after the game. But Vusevic said he didn’t know Allen was the player he had fouled until he blew the whistle, and believed the play looked worse than he intended because of a blow from behind by Brooke Lopez. .

“It looked worse in the moment,” Vusevic said. “When you look at the replays, it’s not even that bad. I don’t understand why I got the tech for it. I didn’t intend to payback or anything. Hopefully I get my money back on the tech.” “

The Bulls (45-34) will spend their final three games in the Eastern Conference battling the fifth-seeded Toronto Raptors (46-33). They are one game behind the Raptors after Tuesday’s game.

Whether they are seeded fifth or sixth, the playoffs will require the Bulls to do something they have accomplished only once in an entire season – beating the top four team in the East.

The Bulls are 1–19 against the top four teams in the East and the top three in the Western Conference. That lone win came back on November 1 against the Celtics, who the Bulls will face for the last time on Wednesday.

Their record against top competitors leaves the Bulls with a shaky foundation for the playoffs, which will be an uphill battle without a home-court advantage.

“You want to play well this time of year,” Donovan said. “Since the All-Star break, it’s been a really, really, really challenging program. But I think it’s cool because it’s shedding light on what you need to do and where you need to go.” And I think it’s positive.

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Nation World News Desk
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