Aside from the pesky facts that the Bulls never beat the Bucks, aren’t nearly as good as the Bucks and seemingly match up with the Bucks about as well as a wall of tofu matches up with a charging rhinoceros, it’s hard to understand why everybody is being so negative around here.
Why the heck can’t the Bulls beat the NBA’s defending champions in a best-of-seven first-round series that starts Sunday night in Milwaukee?
In this week’s “Polling Place,” your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter, we asked voters what’s about to happen. Let’s just say they weren’t all that psyched about the Bulls’ chances.
“There really is no chance without sudden, massive injuries to the Bucks,” @alexquigley commented.
“The only way the Bulls win even one game is if the Bucks just completely let go of the rope in a lackluster effort,” @vic_nardozza wrote. “This Bulls team is mentally week and poorly coached.”
Speaking of Billy Donovan, we also asked voters to grade him on his work this season. And finally we asked who should be the league’s MVP. On to the polls:
Poll No. 1: What’s your pick for the best-of-seven first-round playoff series between the Bulls and the Bucks?
Upshot: On the bright side, only 85% picked the Bucks to move on to Round 2. Wait, never mind, that’s a lot. Look, it’s going to take a confluence of events unforeseeable to most of us for this Bulls thing to happen. We know that. But, dang it, we’re going to be tuned in and watching just the same. As if we have anything better to do.
Poll No. 2: What grade would you give Bulls coach Billy Donovan this season?
Upshot: Top marks just for getting to the playoffs? Low ones for stinking all season against top opponents? No and no, it says here. We’re on board with a B. Take a long look at all the factors — a pretty good record, the Bulls winning pretty much all the games they were supposed to win, lots of injury trouble to withstand — and it seems absolutely fair.
Poll No. 3: Who gets your MVP vote?
Upshot: Jokic is, indeed, the odds-on favorite to win the award, and it’s easy to make an argument on his behalf. In a nutshell: Without co-star Jamal Murray, he led the Nuggets in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals and absolutely carried a modestly talented group to 48 wins. Is Giannis a better player? Yep. Are the 76ers any good without Embiid? Nope. This one is not an easy call.