Considering the Bulls injuries throughout the year they are a surprise team as a 3 seed. Considering their rosters relative lack of depth and their mid season trade, the Bucks are a surprise team as a 6 seed. Ironically heading into this series the Bulls are the healthy team and are likely to build on their 3-1 regular season record vs. Milwaukee.
POINT GUARD- Michael Carter-Williams vs. Derrick Rose
A matchup with two tremendously talented point guards who have had up and down seasons for very different reasons. Carter- Williams was traded mid-season and forced to learn a new system under former All Star point guard Jason Kidd. Rose returned this season after a knee injury only to reinjure the knee and have to have another surgery. He came back right before the playoffs and will need to knock the rust off quick.
Shooting Guard – Khris Middleton vs. Tony Snell
Middleton has really come into his own under Kidd and is a versatile offensive player who could be the difference maker in the series. He will need a big series to keep the Bulls defense honest. Snell is the likely starter and has performed admirably when given the opportunity.
Small Forward- Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Mike Dunleavy
Antetokounmpo is a rising star in the league who will get to showcase his freakish skill set on the leagues biggest stage. There are still many holes in his game but he is an elite athlete with the genetic and athletic ability to dominate a game. Dunleavy is a veteran who can make the open shot as well as make plays for others.
Power Forward- Ersan Ilyasova vs. Pau Gasol
Ilyyasova showed the team enough a few years ago to get rewarded with a big contract and has since disappointed. He was a double figure scorer but not much else in the regular season. Gasol turned in a vintage season and showed he is still amongst the elite big men in the NBA. His passing and ability to play with his back to the basket helped him blend seamlessly into Chicago’s half court offense and he gives the Bulls post scoring which is something they have not had in the past.
CENTER- Zaza Pachulia vs. Joakim Noah
Pachulia is the starter and is a strong inside presence but is not much of a defender. They will also go to John Henson off the bench for a better defender and shot blocking presence. Noah is the best passing big man in the league. He does not have a traditional skill set but is the ultimate effort player who will do whatever it takes for his team to win. He is the backbone of all that the Bulls do.
The Bucks have veterans like O.J Mayo and Jared Dudley who are both 3-point threats. The Bulls are a deep team with Kirk Hinrich, Aaron Brooks, Nikola Mirotic, and Taj Gibson all capable performers.