DeMar DeRozan's Struggles Cost Bulls Golden Opportunity in Game 1 vs. Giannis, BucksApril 18, 2022
Perhaps no team in the entire NBA playoffs had a tougher draw in the first round than the Chicago Bulls going up against the reigning-champion Milwaukee Bucks, but the visitors blew a golden opportunity to steal Game 1 on the road in Sunday's 93-86 loss.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was brilliant as usual with 27 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a plus-minus of plus-19, but Chicago still held a lead with fewer than six minutes remaining because Giannis was in foul trouble and played just 34 minutes.
Yet Chicago's stars failed in the biggest moments.
While the Bulls came storming back from a 16-point deficit and had every opportunity to win in crunch time, they couldn't overcome DeMar DeRozan shooting 6-of-25, Zach LaVine shooting 6-of-19 and Nikola Vucevic shooting 9-of-27 from the field. DeRozan missed shot after shot from his typical dominant mid-range spots, and Vucevic was ineffective at the rim far too many times.
It would be difficult to draw up a better chance to steal one on the road than the one Chicago had Sunday with Alex Caruso making plays on defense, Coby White providing a spark off the bench, Milwaukee's role players struggling at times and Antetokounmpo limited because of fouls and substitution patterns.
However, the Bulls stars bricked their way to a Game 1 loss and will be under even more pressure in Wednesday's Game 2.