Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls Preview and Predictions -03-10-2020
A pair of Central Division teams on the outside looking in at the playoff picture take the floor in search of a win in the Windy City. The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the road as they make the trip to face the Chicago Bulls Tuesday night. Cleveland earned a 132-129 overtime win at home to San Antonio Sunday night as a four-point underdog Sunday night. Chicago dropped a 110-107 road loss to Brooklyn in their last game though they did cover as a six-point underdog Sunday afternoon. The Bulls own a 127-91 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams and took two of the three meetings this season. That includes a 118-106 road win as a one-point underdog in the last matchup on January 25.
Cleveland Cavaliers Look for Third Straight Win
Cleveland won two straight to cap a five-game homestand as they downed the Spurs in overtime Sunday night. The Cavaliers entered Monday in the cellar of the Central Division, 34 games behind the Bucks for the top spot. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team is 14th in the standings, 10 games behind Orlando for the final playoff spot. Cleveland led by 17 after the opening quarter only to see the lead trimmed to 10 at the half before trailing by four after three quarters. The Cavaliers rallied to force overtime and used a 6-0 run while holding San Antonio scoreless for nearly three minutes to earn the victory. Cleveland shot 45.7 percent from the field, including 13 of 34 from three-point range, and controlled the glass 60-44. Andre Drummond led the Cavaliers with 28 points and 17 rebounds in the win.
The Cavaliers are 25th in the league in scoring this season with 107 points per game. Cleveland is 19th in rebounding with 44.4 caroms a night while the team stands 24th with 23 assists per contest. The Cavaliers are below average defensively, ranking 24th in scoring defense by allowing 114.9 points per game. Kevin Love is second on the team with 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest this year. Collin Sexton (team-high 20.7 points), Tristan Thompson (12 points, 10.` rebounds), Andre Drummond and Darius Garland (12.3 points) are scoring in double figures on the year. Larry Nance Jr. (10 points, 7.4 rebounds), Cedi Osman (11.1 points), Dante Exum and Kevin Porter Jr. are key pieces of the rotation for the Cavaliers. Cleveland is 21st in the league by shooting 45.8 percent from the field. The Cavaliers are 21st in the league in made threes with 11.3 triples a night while ranking 20th in three-point shooting by shooting 35.2 percent from downtown. Drummond has missed the last few games with a calf injury but he did practice Friday. Porter Jr. is in the concussion protocol and is out without a timetable for return. Thompson has an eye injury while Garland is dealing with a groin injury: both are questionable for this contest. Exum is expected to miss an extended period with an ankle injury.
Chicago Bulls Try to Bounce Back at Home
Chicago lost their third straight game and their fifth in the last six contests as they were upended by the Nets on the road Sunday night. The Bulls entered Monday third in the Central Division race, 32 games behind the Bucks for the top spot in the division. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team is 11th in the standings, eight games behind the Magic for the final playoff spot. Chicago led by one after the opening quarter, trailed by eight at the half and trimmed a 13-point deficit with 3:22 to play to one in the final seconds only to fall short. The Bulls shot 42.4 percent from the field, including 12 of 34 from three-point range, and lost the game at the charity stripe. Chicago was 17 of 25 at the line while the Nets were 35 of 41. Otto Porter Jr. led the Bulls with 23 points in the loss.
The Bulls are 26th in the league in scoring offense this season with 106.8 points per game. Chicago is 29th in the league in rebounding with 41.8 boards a night while ranking 23rd with 23.2 assists per contest. The Bulls are above average defensively as they are 14th by allowing 110 points per contest. Zach LaVine leads the team with 25.5 points per game on the year. Lauri Markkanen (14.7 points, 6.3 rebounds) and Wendell Carter Jr. (11.1 points, 9.5 rebounds) are solid post presences. Coby White contributes 13.1 points a game as a rookie while Thaddeus Young (10.3 points) and Otto Porter Jr. (11.7 points) are good contributors. The Bulls need to get more production from Tomas Satoransky (10 points, 5.5 assists) and Kris Dunn from the point guard position. Chicago is 24th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.6 percent from the floor. The Bulls are 14th in the league with 12.2 three-pointers a game and stand 24th by shooting 34.7 percent from beyond the arc. Dunn is out for the rest of the season with a sprained MCL while LaVine will miss his fifth straight game with a quad strain here.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, often referred to as the Cavs, are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division. The team began play as an expansion team in 1970, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Buffalo Braves. Home games were first held at Cleveland Arena from 1970 to 1974, followed by the Richfield Coliseum from 1974 to 1994. Since 1994, the Cavs have played home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in downtown Cleveland, which is shared with the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League and the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League. Dan Gilbert has owned the team since March 2005.
The Cavaliers opened their inaugural season losing their first 15 games and struggled in their early years, placing no better than sixth in the Eastern Conference during their first five seasons. The team won their first Central Division title in 1976, which also marked the first winning season and playoff appearance in franchise history, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. The franchise was purchased by Ted Stepien in 1980. Stepien’s tenure as owner was marked by six coaching changes, questionable trades and draft decisions, and poor attendance, leading to $15 million in financial losses. The Cavs went 66–180 in that time and endured a 24-game losing streak spanning the 1981–82 and 1982–83 seasons.
George and Gordon Gund purchased the franchise in 1983. During the latter half of the 1980s and through much of the 1990s, the Cavs were a regular playoff contender, led by players such as Mark Price and Brad Daugherty, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1992. After the team’s playoff appearance in 1998, however, the Cavs had six consecutive losing seasons with no playoff action. Cleveland was awarded with the top overall pick in the 2003 draft, and they selected LeBron James. Behind James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Cavaliers again became a regular playoff contender by 2005. They made their first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007 after winning the first Eastern Conference championship in franchise history. After failing to return to the NBA Finals in the ensuing three seasons, James joined the Miami Heat in 2010. As a result, the Cavaliers finished the 2010–11 season last in the conference, enduring a 26-game losing streak that, as of 2017, ranks as the longest in NBA history for a single season and second overall. Between 2010 and 2014, however, the team won the top pick in the NBA draft lottery three times, first in 2011 where they selected Kyrie Irving, and again in 2013 and 2014.
LeBron James returned to the Cavs in 2014 and led the team to four straight NBA Finals appearances. In 2016, the Cavaliers won their first NBA Championship, marking Cleveland’s first major sports title since 1964. The 2016 NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors marked the first time in Finals history a team had come back to win the series after trailing three games to one. The Cavaliers have made 22 playoff appearances, and won seven Central Division titles, five Eastern Conference titles, and one NBA title.