The Milwaukee Bucks have looked relatively flat through their first two games of the 2022 NBA Playoffs against the Chicago Bulls. While they were able to pull out a series opener win, Game 2 was a much different story as DeMar DeRozan went off for 41 points and helped the Bulls grab a huge road victory. To make matters worse for the Bucks, the squad lost Khris Middleton to an MCL sprain that could potentially keep him out for 3-4 weeks.
Although it would make sense to worry, there are numerous reasons Milwaukee should be able to still come out on top and progress to the next round.
3 reasons Bucks must not panic after Game 2 loss to Bulls
Did we forget this is the same team that won an NBA title last season? Sure, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a massive part to do with their success like always, but the Bucks are a team. Middleton is truly his right-hand man on both ends but he was struggling through the first couple of contests, combining for just 29 points. That being said, we can't forget the likes of Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis Jr, and Wesley Matthews, among others. Holiday in particular is the Bucks' best perimeter defender and also a key cog offensively who knows exactly what it takes to succeed on this stage. Sans Middleton, you can count on the guard to rise to the occasion. The same goes with Portis and Lopez, the two imposing bigs in Milwaukee's frontcourt. The defense wasn't spot on in Game 2, but they will bounce back. That's what championship squads do.
It obviously helps when the supporting cast can produce as well, but the Greek Freak is undoubtedly the X-factor for the Bucks. He has been utterly dominant in this series, dropping 27 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in Game 1 then on Wednesday, he balled out for 33 points, 18 rebounds, and nine assists. To put it nicely, the Bulls simply don't have an answer for Antetokounmpo. He bullies his way into the paint every time and uses his physicality to almost always get to the cup and finish with authority. Now with him possessing a jump shot, he is truly unstoppable. Chicago couldn't slow Giannis down all season and they won't be able to now. Give the Greek Freak the ball and let him go to work.
The Bulls are dreadful against Milwaukee
Chicago couldn't beat a playoff team to save their lives during the regular season, going 2-21 against top-8 eight squads. The Bucks have also beaten them in 17 of their last 19 meetings dating back to 2016, including the current series. Middleton's absence is undoubtedly a blow and the Bulls are a much better team than in past years with the star duo of DeRozan and Zach LaVine, but Milwaukee is simply just a stronger ballclub with more experience. Missing their second-best scorer will make this task more difficult, but the Bucks should be able to still advance. Of course, the playoffs are a whole different beast, there is no doubt. However, it's impossible to look past how well Milwaukee has played against Chicago. This is not the time to panic. Regroup, come together as a collective unit, and get back down to business. One loss is not a big deal.