The Chicago Bulls will face the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the NBA playoffs, which will be close to home to start their first postseason appearance in five years.
The best-of-seven series will begin with TV coverage on TNT at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Milwaukee’s Fisher Forum.
The Bulls (46-36) – who finished Sunday night’s regular season with a 124-120 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves – moved up to sixth seed in the Eastern Conference last week after starting 2022 at the top of the conference standings.
The defending NBA champion Bucks (51-31) were neck and neck with the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers but were seeded third on Sunday after resting most of their starters in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The rivalry between the Bulls and Bucks took a new edge after Alex Caruso’s injury at the hands of Grayson Allen in January, but it has been a one-sided series ever since. The Bulls have lost all four meetings with the Bucks this season, including 28- and 21-point blowouts in the last two games.
“They are champions for a reason,” said Bulls coach Billy Donovan. “They’re battle-tested. They’ve gone through it. We have to play great basketball on both ends of the floor.”
Despite facing one of the toughest schedules in the league after the All-Star break, the Bucks built a 15–7 record in one title chase after another.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is an impossible problem for most teams, but the Bucks have pulled off their recent victories over the Bulls on the strength of other players such as Brooke Lopez and Jew Holiday.
“They have a really good team and a whole team,” Zach LaVine said. “I think we do too. We just have to attack them and figure out how we can beat them. … We have to try to bring the fight to them because if we’re back on our heels , then it will not be good.”