Game 34: Bulls at Cavs
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Bulls come into Friday's game at full strength. The Cavs can't say that. Guard Kyrie Irving missed Friday's game with an illness. It affected the Cavs negatively. They were doomed from the start.
The Bulls have beaten the Cavs by a combined 60 points in their two meetings this season. The last time, on Jan. 20, the Bulls blasted the Cavs, 114-75. That was the worst loss at home in Cavs history.
The Bulls played without MVP Derrick Rose in that game. He's back, boy, is he ever. Since returning from a lower back injury on Feb. 20 vs. Atlanta, Rose has posted three games of 20 or more points, including a 32-point, nine-assist contest against New Orleans.
In his four games back, he's averaging 25 points, 2.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.25 blocks..
He's a big reason the Bulls lead the league in assists per game (23.1). They are also second
in points allowed (88.1) and first in rebounds per game (45.8).
This team defended so well in the first meeting with the Cavs, their offense couldn't function properly. The Bulls were beating them to their spots and just wreaked havoc on them.
The Cavs have lost three in a row overall, and also their last seven to the Bulls.
The Cavs signed guard Manny Harris to a second 10-day contract on Friday. He scored nine points in 18 minutes against the Bulls.
Coach Byron Scott hinted that changes are forthcoming. Obviously, center Semih Erden and forward Omri Casspi are the most vulnerable starters. He could replace both players. Samardo Samuels might be next in line to start at center. Of course, Wizards center JaVale McGee is extremely long and Scott might want to match him up with a fellow 7-footer.
We'll find out on Saturday. Alonzo Gee could start at small forward, even though he wasn't very good on Friday. He made just 3 of 11 shots for six points.
UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Washington at 7 p.m. Saturday at Verizon Center.
C Semih Erden (7-0, 240) vs. Joakim Noah (6-11, 232)
SG Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Rip Hamilton (6-7, 193)
PG Ramon Sessions (6-3, 190) vs. Derrick Rose (6-3, 190)
Cavs – G/F Christian Eyenga, C Anderson Varejao
Bulls - none