In our preview of this series, we wrote this scenario: “If the defending champions go up a notch […] the Bulls will not have the weapons to keep pace throughout the series. Maybe only to snatch a game, at home, with a gala DeMar DeRozan and a crazy audience. But little more. »
We weren’t far from the truth. Because this gala match took place, certainly in Game 2 in Milwaukee, with a DeMar DeRozan at 41 points. But for the next two meetings in Chicago, the gap between the two teams was enormous.
The Bucks, however deprived of Khris Middleton, won Game 3 by 30 points (81-111) then Game 4 by 24 (95-119), a 54-point difference in two away games. Chicago has almost never existed in front of its public.
“I felt the frustration of the players on the bench during the match”Billy Donovan told NBC Sports. “They worked hard, they wanted to be there, they wanted to be physical. And sometimes, even with our efforts, we took baskets. We moved the ball well, we had good shots, but it didn’t fit. So we get discouraged. We can feel it. »
“One game at a time. You shouldn’t think of taking all three matches at once.
The Bulls fell on the same wall as the regular season, when they were unable to win against the big teams. In recent days, the level has risen sharply and Chicago has been deprived of oxygen.
“They were not champions by chance”explains DeMar DeRozan to the Chicago Sun Times, speaking of his opponents. “They saw others. We must underline their merit. They’ve won series without important players and we’ve seen what it looks like when a great team steps up a notch. »
Game 5, played in Milwaukee on Wednesday evening, may be the last of the series, therefore of the season of DeMar DeRozan and company.
“We can’t show any sign of panic”warns the full-back/winger. “We have to show that we still have the will, that there is still an opening, an opportunity. We must take the matches one after the other. We have a few days before the next one, to recover mentally, emotionally, physically. »
Zach LaVine has the same speech as his All-Star teammate. You should not already plan for Game 6 at home, and even less for a possible Game 7.
“It’s one game at a time. We can take a step back and say that it’s over. But they won one match after another so you shouldn’t think of taking the three matches at once: first a first. We just need to fight. I don’t really want to go home and I hope everyone does. »
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