A Renewed Milwaukee Bucks-Chicago Bulls RIVALRY this Season


Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls

Tomorrow, NBA teams will open training camps and begin practicing; meaning we can now officially state that the new season is here, and with it the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks enter a new level of competition in their natural rivalry, as they are expected to jockey for the top spot in the Central for the first time in over 20 years.

Wisconsin and Illinois sports fans have no problem gushing about their hate for the other state’s teams. After all, half the fun of being a sports fan is rooting against a rival team as much as you pull for your favorite.

The yearly Green Bay PackersChicago Bears clash (coincidentally tonight, you might have heard a thing or two abot it) will always dominate headlines and interest regardless of both teams’ success, and the Milwaukee BrewersChicago Cubs fighting for fourth place (at best) bragging rights in the NL Central.

By Jake McCormick

But thanks to the Bucks and Bulls checking off multiple sections on their offseason shopping list, both teams are primed for an extremely contentious border battle for the Eastern Conference’s Central Division crown.

The Bucks and Bulls have had their fair share of ups and downs since the end of the Jordan era in Chicago, but you’d have to go back to 1980-81 to find a season where they finished together at the top of the division.

The upcoming season has all the makings of a kick off of long-term relevance for both teams, provided expectations are met and players stay healthy for 82 games.

Bucks BullsBoth teams feature young, promising floor leaders in Brandon Jennings and Derrick Rose, and a roster that shows a commitment to winning now and in the years to come. Each team has at least seven new faces, including draft picks, and most are immediate and future upgrades at key 2009 positions of weakness.

Corey Maggette, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Drew Gooden, and John Salmons give the Bucks scoring options they didn’t have in 2009-10, and have fanned the flames of excitement coming from the Milwaukee fan base. Over six Summer League games, Larry Sanders showed why GM John Hammond thought him worthy of the 15th overall draft pick.

Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver trekked East from Utah to bring offensive energy inside and out to Chicago and fellow ex-Jazz wing Ronnie Brewer will provide some quality perimeter defense. Bucks fans know all too well what Kurt Thomas brings off the bench, and C.J. Watson is an arguable upgrade over Kirk Hinrich.

Even with all the new faces, Milwaukee and Chicago have the most talent, depth, and experience in the Central, and it should translate into two invigorated fan bases and more turnstile rotations at the Bradley and United Centers.

The Bucks and Bulls are primed to win, and win now. If their paper improvements translate into on-court success, fans can expect nothing less than the excitement they would feel during a Brewers-Cubs September pennant race or a Packers-Bears playoff push. That’s really the best scenario you could ask for in a traditionally passionate rivalry.

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