The Chicago Bulls are on the brink of booking their place in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, but they need one more win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee.
When: Saturday April 25, 22:30 (UK time)
Derrick Rose finished with 34 points in the double overtime 113-106 win on Thursday, and if the Bulls are to go on a lengthy post-season run, it seems that their back-court is going to lead the way.
Along with Rose’s inspired play that is serving as a warning to the Cleveland Cavaliers who are likely to come next, Jimmy Butler is proving to be the perfect shooting guard to stand alongside him as the Bulls have waited years for the ideal two-way guard next to their MVP.
Coupled with Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol looking to dominate in the front-court, the Bulls are starting to click into gear with Mike Dunleavy finding his range from beyond the arc with the likes of Rose and Butler allowing him to find space.
However, there are undoubtedly still certain aspects of the performances that coach Tom Thibodeau will want to work on as they are far from the finished article and will want Nikola Mirotic back sooner rather than later.
Giannis Antetotkounmpo provided them with a scare last time out after putting up 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Michael Carter-Williams and Khris Middleton had a big impact in Game 3 to force their rivals beyond regulation.
They are certainly a dangerous outfit and are giving Chicago a real test in the opening round of the playoffs, but they still lack the experience and depth required in the post-season to make them a legitimate threat.
As a result, the Bulls will be confident of wrapping this up whether it is Rose or Butler taking the lead role, and they will be pleased to have been pushed so hard instead of coasting through and making the semi-finals without being tested.
Prediction: Bulls to win.