How the Chicago Bulls can end Milwaukee’s seasonJosh Bootzinon April 22, 2022 at 1:00 pm

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Chicago Bears (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

A tumultuous post-break stretch that saw the Chicago Bulls spiraling down the Eastern Conference standings, only to be unlucky enough to draw the defending champs in the first round, had most of the NBA media convinced the Bulls would only see four games in this year’s playoffs.

An entire fanbase breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday night when time ran out on the Bucks’ late comeback attempt, signaling the Bulls’ first playoff win since April 18, 2017.

One game isn’t a series, though. Avoiding a sweep is a nice sentiment, but the work isn’t done. Would anyone be surprised if the Bucks win the next three games and move on to face more talented and cohesive teams?

No. But the freshly assembled Bulls found a formula to compete on the biggest stage against a team with more talent, experience, and years of familiarity.

The Chicago Bulls have a chance to do something special in this first round series.

The Bulls snatched this win by sticking tooth-and-nail to their season-long calling card: that they love defying expectations. This Bulls team is at their most dangerous when everyone around them has already written them off. They hear the noise, and they channel the underdog mentality into fighting hard and smart on the court.

It’s obvious Milwaukee wasn’t expecting this version of the Bulls. Last year’s champs looked lost on the court during both games of this series. They made numerous unforced errors. Everyone not named Giannis Antetokounmpo failed to make a significant mark on either game.

I’ve come up with three main aspects of the game that the Bulls have focused on to make this a competitive series, rather than rolling over like most expected of them. If they can continue to excel at these areas, it might turn into more wins and possibly a series victory.

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