Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoff first round series between the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks went down to the wire. After falling behind by double digits, the game was there for the Bulls as they mounted a comeback in the second half.
They even took the lead in the fourth quarter and had several chances to grab it again late. As Chicago fell 93-86 in Game 1, the story was the struggles of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine in this game, the Bulls’ two best players in the regular season.
DeRozan was fantastic for the Bulls all year long, earning the nickname “King of the Fourth” but on Sunday he really struggled. He shot 6 of 25 from the field, scoring just 18 points in the loss. Following the game, DeRozan talked about his struggles to reporters and vowed to never let it happen again:
DeRozan: "No way in hell I shoot 6 for 25 again." #Bulls
— Mike McGraw (@McGrawDHSports) April 18, 2022
“I don’t know what the hell was going on.” DeRozan on his poor shooting night. Said he won’t shoot like that again.
— Joe Cowley (@JCowleyHoops) April 18, 2022
Unfortunately, this has been something that has bothered DeRozan throughout his career as his struggles in the playoffs have been well documented. He’s been able to produce in the regular season but when it gets time to go in the postseason, he hasn’t been as good. In his career, DeRozan is now 24-35 in playoff games and 2-9 in Game 1’s.
And this is what the Bulls had hoped to avoid.
If DeRozan can turn it around, the Bulls can make it a series. But if he doesn’t, then this one is all but over.
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