Most of us thought this series was over when the Bulls took a commanding 3-0 lead over the Bucks.
Then Milwaukee rallied around a Jerryd Bayless buzzer beater to take some momentum to Chicago and make it a 3-2 series. I wrote about why the Bulls better step up and close out the Bucks in Game 6, and did they ever.
The Bulls came away with a 120-66 series clinching victory that wasn’t even close from the start (they led 34-16 after a quarter). It was a great season for the young Bucks, but this game was a sad showing. Here’s some numbers that jumped off the box score.
— The 54-point win was the largest margin of victory ever in a series clinching game.
— The difference between the best and worst plus/minus in the game was 87 points.
— Jimmy Butler was a plus-46 in 32 minutes, while Kris Middleton was an impressive minus-41 in just 26 minutes.
— Derrick Rose also managed a plus-41 in only 24 minutes of action.
— All five starters for the Bulls scored in double figures and all eight bench players played and scored.
— The Bucks also played all 13 of their players who each scored, BUT Milwaukee didn’t even have a double-digit scorer. Their high man was Zaza Pachulia, who had eight points and was an solid minus-25 by Bucks standards.
— If you put any Bucks in your DK lineup … you probably didn’t do well.
Valiant effort Bucks, but the Bulls came to play in this one.
Now it’s on to the Cavs for Chicago, just as we were all hoping for. The winner of this series will likely be heavy favorites in the Eastern Conference finals with this semi-final matchup expected to be the heavy weight battle.
The Cavs will obviously be without Kevin Love, but it will still be a hell of a series. Tristan Thompson should fill in as a nice matchup with the Bulls’ bigs as a rebounder/defender while guys like Iman Shumpert step in to space the floor as Love did. In the end it’s all about LeBron, who will face off in a playoff matchup with D-Rose for the first time since 2011.
Unless you’re a Bucks fan or a Cavs fan, you’re probably happy the Bulls pulled this out and we get to see the featured series in the east that everyone wanted.
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