END: Final Score: 103-91 Chicago takes 1-0 series lead and retains homecourt advantage.
4th 0:00: Thanks for tuning into VAVEL's LIVE coverage of the NBA playoffs. We have live coverage of every NBA playoff game, so be sure to tune in to out LIVE event on the Rockets-Mavs game, and tomorrow for more playoff action!
4th 0:28: The Bucks would have had a chance at winning this game if they could have responded to the Chicago runs, however Chicago went on a run and never looked back.
4th 0:51: Derrick Rose checks out of the game, the Bucks are fouling.
4th 1:50: The Bulls are slowing down their offensive tempo now, running time off of the clock.
4th 3:03: The Bulls have gone on another scoring run bringing the score to 101-85. This game is over.
4th 3:58: Dunleavy with another three!
4th 4:47: Mike Dunleavy for the open three!
4th 5:50: Butler with an amazing drive ending in the reverse layup!
4th 6:34: A shot by Bayless brings the Bulls lead down to 10
4th 6:48: Derrick Rose will check back into the game
4th 7:20: The Bulls may be getting over-confident here. They are beign very careless with the ball. All they need to do is play defense.
4th 9:02: The Bucks Still don't have an answer for the booming Chicago offense. If they cant come up with a solution soon, you can count them out of this game.
4th 11:00: The Bucks are losing their composure on the offensive end. They need to cut down on the turnovers.
3rd 3:17: Rose says that "there is no pressure" because he hasn't played in the playoffs in so long
3rd 3:17: The Bulls are outscoring the Bucks 21-17 this quarter.
3rd 3:17: Antetokoumpo hasnt scored since halftime, although the Bucks have very balanced scoring right now. It would be nice to see someone on the Bucks side have a good run.
3rd 3:17: Although three-point shooting isn'y Rose's game, he's doing well rom outside the arc this game. He finally subs out after a 9 minute stint. It will be interesting to see whether or not we will see the old attack-the-rim Derrick Rose this year.
3rd 3:26: Derrick Rose now has 23 points in his first playoff game in almost 3 years!
3rd 3:58: Henson with the putback jam on the fastbreak!
3rd 4:26: Derrick Rose with ANOTHER three pointer!
3rd 4:54: The Bulls may be getting too confident, they allow a Henderson dunk with nobody near him
3rd 6:09: Derrick Rose drains another long three!
3rd 6:45: OJ Mayo with three answering three from the corner!
3rd 6:55: Derrick Rose drains a long three to extend the Chicago run to 7-0
3rd 7:30: Unforced turnover by Chicago keeps the Bucks in this game.
3rd 8:00: If the Bucks can stay within 3-5 points of the Bulls, the ideal time to make amove would be with 3 minutes remaining in the 3rd
3rd 8:45: Derrick Rose is now 0-3 from three point range
3rd 10:00: The Bucks are taking fast shots, they need to be careful not to let Chicago dictate the tempo of this game.
3rd 10:28: Offensive foul on Ersan Ilyasova
3rd 11:10: Khris Middleton opens up the scoring in the second half of the game with a floater
Halftime: More contribution from the Buck's bench is something that needs to happen if they want to win this game.
Halftime: If the Bulls want to keep their lead, they need to keep Ilyasova and Antetokoumpo out of the game, which shouldnt be a problem considering Thibodeau's coaching style. For the Bucks, they are going to need to involve Antetokoumpo in the offense more, as nobody has been able to catch fire from outside. They can use his length to go around smaller defenders and get to the rack.
Halftime: Giannis Antetokoumpo has been the best player for the Bucks so far, with 10 points. He got off to a quick start, but hasnt been significant since. MCW has also been a contributing factor on the offensive end with 9 points.
Halftime: Leading player for the Bulls in the first half was Jimmy Butler with 17 points, and Rose trailing just behind with 12. Aaron Brooks has been solid off of the bench, scoring the 3rd highest number of points of any player on the Bulls roster with 10
2nd 0:00: The second half ends with the Bulls up 60-51. This game was supposed to be defensive, however it's been just the opposite. The Bulls have kept up their exceptional shooting, while the Bucks have started missing the more dificult shots, resulting in a 9 point defecit
2nd 1:49: Derrick Rose gets to the rim and lays it in! He has 10 points in the quarter
2nd 2:11: Derrick Rose with the dunk on the fast break!
2nd 3:35: Butler brings the Bulls out of their slump, hitting a long 2 and then a 3. He has only missed one shot in this game.
2nd 4:00: Another controversial call by the referees brings back the "ref you suck" chant form the crowd
2nd 5:05: The crown is chanting "ref you suck" after a controversial charging call going against the Bulls.
2nd 5:56: Gibson receives the flagrant 1. That's two shots and the ball for the Bucks.
2nd 5:56: The Bulls are shooting too many threes. They are currently 5/13 (.385). If they can get to the rim more, and take advantage of their size, they should be able to stop the Bucks making any runs.
2nd 5:56: Taj Gibson elbows OJ Mayo in the face. The referees will review the call, and likely rule it a flagrant 1.
2nd 6:56: Michael Carter Williams with his second and-one of the night!
2nd 8:06: Defensive 3 second technical on the Chicago Bulls
2nd 8:19: Derrick Rose will check back into the game for the first time since 6 minutes left in the first quarter.
2nd 9:28: The Bucks are starting to miss shots now, this is the chance for the Bulls to build a lead.
2nd 10:17: The Bulls are picking up their play now. They look much more energetic.
2nd 11:06: Tony Snell drains a jumper at the shot clock buzzer to open up the second quarter scoring
1st 0:00: Brooks makes a three-pointer at the 1st quarter buzzer to give the Bulls a lead going into the second.
1st 2:37: The Bucks are starting to gain control of the game once again, due to the tempo change. The Bulls bneed to wait until Antetokoumpo is out of the game, and then drastically change the tempo
1st 4:10: Khris Middleton Nails a three
1st 5:29: Michael Carter Williams with the and-one!
1st 6:11: Butler continues his run, shooting 2 at the free throw line.
1st 6:34: Chicago is now 7 of 9 from the field, Jimmy Butler with 5 quick points.
1st 8:10: The Bulls are scoring at will now. The Bucks need to slow down the pace of the game
1st 11:38: Zaza Pachulia scored the first points of the game for the Bucks. Middleton follows up with a jumper in transition
6:58 PM: the Bucks have not won a playoff series since 2001
6:54 PM: Derrick Rose will play his first post-season game since 2012 tonight.
6:36 PM: Here are the highlights from the last time these two teams played:
6:33 PM: The game will tip-off at 7:00 PM EST
6:32 PM: Check out VAVEL's complete first round predictions here
6:30 PM: The Final Score was 106-99
6:30 PM: Update: The Golden State Warriors have defeated the New Orleans Pelicans at home, now leading the series 1-0
Check out our other LIVE event, covering the Golden State Warriors against the New Orleans Pelicans
In the opening game of the NBA playoffs, the Washington Wizards defeated the Toronto Raptors to gain a 1-0 series lead and home court advantage. The Raptors made a comeback in the 4th quarter, only to fall in overtime. The final score was 93-86. Here is VAVELs recap of what happened.
Milwaukee owned the worst record in the league last season. They improved by 26 wins this season much thanks to Jason Kidd's amazing coaching job as he has developed his young players nicely. Even if the Bucks lose, the playoff experience their youthful players will attain is enormous.
The Bucks bench consists of Jared Dudley, O.J. Mayo, Jerryd Bayless, and John Henson, three shooters/scorers and a defensive big man. Offensive, the Bucks bench has been better, ranking seventh in the league with an average of 37.3 points a game.
The Bulls bench is also much deeper this season than it was last. Aaron Brooks has been a bundle of offense off the pine, and rookie Nikola Mirotic has been playing like a veteran. He has been a terrific rebounder and floor spacer off the bench. Tony Snell is also slowly improving on both ends of the floor, giving the Bulls another lengthy, perimeter defender. E'Twaun Moore has also given Chicago terrific play off the bench. Remember his game-winning three against the Oklahoma City Thunder?
This year, with Butler's vast improvement on offense, Gasol's low post prowess and a healthy Derrick Rose, the Bulls shouldn't have any more offensive woes. Something that the Bulls have lacked over the years, even during Rose's MVP season, was low post scoring, a player who can get points in the painted area at almost anytime. Gasol is fundamentally sound and a high I.Q. player. The Bulls will be comfortable with going down to him during crunch time when in need of scoring and Gasol will certainly deliver.
Last year, the Bulls were tossed out of the playoffs in five games by the Washington Wizards. They were completely outplayed and were stagnant offensively. Simply put, the Bulls had no go-to scorers down the stretch. Their defense kept them alive for the most part, but their offense was a dud.
The Greek freak Giannis Antetokounmpo has been one of many improving players this season in the NBA. The Bucks can absolutely use his versatility on both ends of the floor. It will be his first playoff game, so there may be some nerves, but he will have to shake that off and play like he has been throughout the season.
However, Pau Gasol has the advantage over Ersan Ilyasova in the painted area. Expect the Bulls to feed Gasol down low and run many plays through him as much as possible. Gasol's addition has opened the floor for the Bulls, giving them better spacing and more room to operate around the perimeter. It's mainly given Butler clean, quality looks from the outside which has helped him become a more efficient player, hence the all-around improvement in his offensive game.
The center matchup will be interesting. Both Zaza Pachulia and Joakim Noah are excellent passing big men from top of the key. They are also solid rebounders and physical, scrappy players. No question that these two will be in each other's faces all series long.
The other three games, in which Chicago won, were all closely contested with the Bulls winning by an average margin of 7.6 points.
Khris Middleton, who scored 14 points in that game, will be the x-factor as he has been Milwaukee's best offensive weapon throughout the season.
Michael Carter-Williams also notched a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bucks to victory. Carter-Williams will be key defensively for the Bucks as he will have the task of slowing down Derrick Rose.
The Bulls won the season series, 3-1, with their only loss coming on April 1st in Milwaukee, 95-91. Most Improved Player candidate Jimmy Butler put in 25 points in that game, while Pau Gasol added a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds but it was not enough.
The Bucks, on the other hand, have rookies Jabari Parker and Damien Inglis on their injury reserve list as both rookies are out for the season, meaning this is the healthiest the Bucks can be.
This will be the first time the Bulls will have a healthy Derrick Rose since the 2011 playoffs, his MVP season. In fact, the Bulls have typically had numerous injuries hurt their chances during the playoffs.
Hello, everyone. Welcome VAVEL's coverage of Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs Thanks for joining us for this first-round matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.