The Chicago Bulls (7-10) begin their six-game road trip against the Milwaukee Bucks (12-4) tonight. The Bulls beat the Celtics 121-107 at home on Monday to snap their four-game losing streak. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 28 points and eight rebounds, and Zach LaVine added 22 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Lonzo Ball is still out for the Bulls with a knee injury, and Goran Dragic (left cervical stinger) is listed as probable to play. The Bucks will be without Khris Middleton and Joe Ingles who are both yet to make their season debuts.
Chicago Bulls (6-10) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (12-4)
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Wednesday, November 23 – 08:00 PM ET at Fiserv Forum
Chicago Bulls starting lineup
C: Nikola Vucevic
PF: Patrick Williams
SF: DeMar DeRozan
SG: Zach LaVine
PG: Ayo Dosunmu
Will Dragic play against the Bucks?
Dragic injured his shoulder after colliding with Sam Houser with 2:38 to play in the first quarter of Monday’s game against the Celtics. He immediately headed towards the locker room but returned to the game later and finished with one steal and one turnover in season-low seven minutes on the floor.
“It’s his neck, that’s where he got hit and I think he had some numbness going down the back of his arm and into his elbow,” Bulls head coach Billy Donovan said after the game. “When he came back in, he just didn’t look right to me and that was totally my decision.”
The 36-year-old has been very productive in limited minutes off the Bulls’ bench. He’s averaging 8.7 points and 3.6 assists in just 18.5 minutes over 17 games while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range.
Good first-quarter is the key
The Bulls displayed urgency on defense in the first quarter against the Celtics, getting four steals, scoring six points off turnovers, and holding them to 6-of-22 from the field and 5-of-17 from three-point range. Chicago hadn’t had a first-quarter lead since November 7 against the Raptors.
Poor first-quarter defense has doomed the Bulls this season -- they allow 115.8 points per 100 possessions over 17 first quarters this season (sixth-worst in the NBA). They also rank 23rd in the league, allowing 29.7 first-quarter points.
A decent start against the Bucks would make a big difference for the Bulls, as they look to build on their win against last season's Eastern Conference Champions.