Cavaliers Preview Game #22: Bulls at Cavs

Chicago Bulls (11-8) vs
Cleveland Cavaliers (7-14)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
7:00 PM EST
FSOH/WTAM

………….Um, ok, then. Yesterday I tried to throw some power of positive thinking into the mix, and got rewarded with yet another 20 point beat down. Folks, I don’t know what tell you, but the Cavaliers are the worst team in the NBA right now. This is a team that has had at least an 18 point deficit in 5 straight games (thank you, Milwaukee). This is getting bleak, and I don’t have any answers to offer. I’m at a complete loss over how this has happened. I don’t know where the winners mentality and band of brothers focus went. Did this team quit? Man, I hate using that Q word on those who don’t deserve it, but to my eyes, it really does look like at this moment in time these players have given up on running Byron Scott’s offense and had stopped giving any effort whatsoever on the defensive end. And so my ultimate nightmare is happening. Fan support is already waning, as fans feel justified to give up on the team that appears to have given up on them. It’s a brutal cycle. All I can do is continue to ask fans to take the high road and keep supporting this franchise. Dan Gilbert, Chris Grant, and Byron Scott didn’t do this to the franchise and in my opinion they still deserve the fans’ support. But it’s going to be interesting for sure to see how the fans react to the team tonight in the first home game since the Miami debacle.

Projected Starting Lineups

Chicago Bulls:

-G Derrick Rose
-G Keith Bogans
-F Luol Deng
-F Carlos Boozer
-C Joakim Noah

Cleveland Cavaliers:

-G Mo Williams
-G Anthony Parker
-F Joey Graham
-F JJ Hickson
-C Anderson Varejao

Game Notes

Due to unforeseen time restraints on my part, I will regrettably have to keep this one short and sweet. Or bittersweet, I suppose. Can Hickson defend Boozer? Can Andy do a better job on Noah than he did in the playoffs last year? Who on earth is going to defend Derrick Rose? Will Byron Scott make any of the changes we’ve been hearing about for a few days now?

Remember how hard it was for Cleveland to handle the Bulls last year? So, now we have to take LeBron off the Cavaliers and add Boozer to the Bulls and expect the Cavaliers to somehow win this game. It’s not going to be an easy task, but the Cavaliers still have to try to do just that. Here are a few tips:

  1. Keep passing the ball and setting up offense quickly. Assists are our friends.
  2. Stop turning the ball over so much. Why are these players acting like they’re scared of the ball all of the sudden?
  3. Derrick Rose is going to break this defense down. He breaks down every defense. If a big is going to rotate, he better put a body on Rose and make him earn his points from the free throw line. And when said big rotates, there better be some communication and someone else better rotate on to Boozer and/or Noah or else Noah will find them for an easy dunk/layup.
  4. The Cavaliers simply MUST get back on transition defense. The Bulls love to get out in the open and create fast break scoring chances, and the Cavaliers need to be aware of this. Since you’re not going to rebound anyway, you might as well be getting back on defense and work on forcing Chicago to beat you with their half court offense.
  5. The Bulls will put you on the free throw line if you’re aggressive. The Cavaliers must recognize this and attack the lanes and draw some fouls to get easy points from the line.
  6. The Bulls interior defense isn’t as tough as their reputation sometimes is. If you can get inside on them, they will collapse on the ball and try to be physical. When this happens, keep an eye out for the weak side post for easy layup opportunities….assuming the Cavs can figure out how to connect on a pass inside the paint. We’ll see.

This is still the NBA and all these players are good professional basketball players. There’s simply no excuse for the lack of effort and the results we’ve seen as of late. The Cavs are better than this and at some point they need to show. They may not win tonight, but lets start small. Just show some heart at home tonight and execute a solid game plan. Give us something to build on, please.

Vegas Line

Cleveland +7.5
Over/Under 196.5

Next Game For The Cavaliers

Saturday, December 11, 2010
8:30 PM EST
Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets
FSOH/WTAM


  • 6thCity

    I for one have not lost hope that we can win a few more games and set ourselves up for respectability once again. I think the moral defeat of the entire summer, added to the terrible loss to Miami, added to the press handling the game has led to a terrible attitude on the team. This, too, shall pass. Go Cavs!

  • Ben

    If only gambling were legal…

  • Chucky Brown

    I may have to root for the bulls as Im more interested in whats worse for the heat then I am with the cavs right now

  • OmegaKing

    I don’t know, 6thCity. I can’t blame the “moral defeat of the entire summer” for how the Cavs are playing now. The Miami game has come and gone, we’re 1/4 into the season. They are what they are at this point – and it’s a collection of unfocused professionals who seem would rather be anywhere but on the Cavs. I won’t shell out any hard-earned money on a team that doesn’t seem to give a crap.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-6513-Cleveland-Sports-Examiner clevexaminer

    If you’re going to tonight’s game, I might recommend leaving soon. Downtown is a winter mess

  • Ralphie Boy

    #2- I said last night taking the Cavs opponent and giving the points is the surest bet in sports right now, especially if you’re giving anything less than 10.

    As for Gilbert & Co., maybe a little continuity would’ve been a good thing vs. blowing out Ferry & Brown before losing LBJ.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew

    Well, Mike Brown and Danny Ferry had 5 years. In NBA terms, that’s a lot of continuity. There were few bigger Mike Brown fans than myself, but I don’t think the teams record would be any better with Coach Brown.

  • Ben

    There might be 50 people there tonight…it’s that bad right now downtown folks..

  • JM

    Chicago is a decent team, the loss tonight might be by 30.

  • mgbode

    I think Hickson should cover Noah and AV on Boozer.

    Boozer is more a threat to score and tries a littany of things to get his defender out of position. AV is almost never out of position.

    Noah is less an offensive threat and if we can convince Hickson to at least try to box out for one night, then we should be covered. Plus, Noah seems to have figured out AV anyway, so might as well put AV on the bigger threat.

    Now, who is going to stop Rose? Can we get Sessions to pull a Finnegan on him and get both ejected?

  • 6thCity

    Oh well, not my best argument but you can’t blame me for taking the first post to try and be positive.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew

    @mgbode: I totally agree, but the Cavs used Hickson on Elton Brand for the most part in all 3 matchups, so that’s why I expect them to use standard alignment tonight

  • REEPJP

    just saw on GameCast that Hickson has only played 6 minutes tonight with 30 seconds left in the game and we’re tied…..anyone actually watch this game?

  • REEPJP

    I think Scott is trying to boost all of our tradable assets stats…lots of minutes for Mo, ‘Tawn, and Andy

  • kmzipsgolf

    Well that was…painful.

  • Lyon

    Reep…. TAwn and Boobie started w/ AP at the 3. It seemed to work as the starters were actuall productive and we seemed to play with a little more hustle.

    JJ didn’t play much b/c when he did in the beginning he had a couple travels and that’s it. Don’t think Scott wants to put up w/ him anymore so he’ll be seeing the bench for awhile.

    Manny Harris looked impressive. Def keep getting him minutes.

    What happened to Sessions tonight? Didn’t see him play at all.

  • Damian

    The cavs overachieved the first 2 weeks of the season, riding high on the emotion of the “snub” and being the underdogs. If you look at the record the cavs are something like 1-10 the last 2 seasons w/out lebron, and beyond only adding ramon sessions (really?) this is that same collection of guys who couldn’t win without lebron. This is just reality, the law of averages, coming back to earth, etc.

    As each game passes it becomes more and more clear just how bad this team really is and why the 1 man show always collapsed during the playoffs.