Chicago Bulls (1-0) at Cleveland Cavaliers (1-0)
The win on opening night against the Sacramento Kings was very telling of what kind of Bulls team we’d be dealing with this season. It wasn’t a pretty win, but it felt good nonetheless. The starters did what they were supposed to do and the bench kind of limped te rest of the way through.
But not every game is going to be like the opener. The key thing to take away from it was it was ugly in the end even when it didn’t seem it was going to end up that way. The Bulls of yesteryear would have closed out the Kings when they had a substantial lead, and if they Kings started to get back into things, the Bulls would have put the clamp on.
That’s a team with Derrick Rose however. The team without Rose nearly lets the Kings come way back and embarrass them at home on opening night.
Don’t expect many games like the ones where Rose closes out — or anyone closes out. Expect games like the one that happened on Wednesday night where things are tight when they shouldn’t be. We all like to assume the Bulls are better than the Kings or the Cav’s, but we must beg the question: are they really?
Ugly, gritty, close, frustrating.
Those will be themes this year that are as present and consistent as the roar of cheers following a Nate Robinson three-pointer or a vicious Joakim Noah block.
After one game, we don’t know what this team is or who they are. The Kings game could have been a fluke, this could be a championship caliber team (pause for laughter). But it could have been a fluke in that this team is a shell of it’s former self and is lost without Rose. There’s no quit in this team and they’ll likely fall in the middle somewhere, but we will likely get a taste of things to come this year when the Bulls take on the Cav’s.
As for the first time in a long time, this is a game that could see the Bulls on the wrong side of a bad game.
Location: Quiken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Time: 6:30pm CST/7:30pm EST
Nat’l TV: N/A
Live Stream: NBA League Pass (FREE TRIAL)
Radio: ESPN 1000
Injury Report/Inactives: CHICAGO — Derrick Rose (OUT), Kirk Hinrich (WILL PLAY)
CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving (WILL PLAY)
Key Storyline: How will the Bulls defense matchup against Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving?
Avg. Pts Allowed
Avg. Pts Scored
Last 10 Games
Last Game: Bulls beat Kings 93-87, Cavaliers beat Wizards 94-84
Last Meeting: April 26, 2012 – Bulls 107, Cavaliers 75
Prediction: Bulls 92, Cavaliers 90