Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers Match Preview

Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers Match Preview

Ryan Knupp
3 years ago
3 min read

The Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers tangle for the second time in five nights on Wednesday night, this time in Cleveland.

The Bulls grabbed a 106-96 victory at the United Center on Saturday night. Nikola Vucevic led all scorers with 25 points (10/17 FGs) while adding seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Both Collin Sexton and Darius Garland registered 22 points in the Cavs’ loss. Garland’s 12 assists was a game-high, while Kevin Love’s 11 rebounds paced the team for just the third time all year.

Let’s dive into this matchup and find out what is at stake for both teams.

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have struggled to maintain their consistency since trading for the All-Star Vucevic. When these teams met towards the end of March, the loss for Chicago was their last game before the trade.

The team lost their first four games with their new star (albeit to four playoff teams in the West, including Phoenix and Utah). They then showed signs of chemistry by stringing together three straight wins. Five difficult losses soon followed, including a really bad loss to Orlando. Now they have won two in a row after an impressive victory in Boston.

Chicago enters play on Wednesday in the tenth and final play-in spot, but there is a lot of work to do for them to secure it. They have the same record as Washington (whom they have the tiebreaker over), and they are a half-game up on Toronto.

Zach LaVine will remain out after entering the league’s health and safety protocol. It was reported a week ago that he would miss 10-14 days. The Bulls will have to continue to rely on Vucevic, who has scored 24+ points in each of the last four games.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs are next in line behind Washington and Toronto. They enter Wednesday’s contest four games back of the tenth spot. A win would give them momentum to carry into a potential last-ditch playoff push.

Their loss to the lowly Pistons on Monday did not help their cause. It was the first divisional win for Detroit in 15 months, and the Cavs have now dropped three straight.

It was a particularly disappointing performance on Monday, as the Cavs fell back by 23 late in the first quarter. They battled back to take the lead in the final frame, but Detroit pulled ahead in the final minute to grab the 109-105 win.


Simply put, the Cavs need more support for their stars. Sexton and Garland combined to score 51 points against Detroit. Outside of Kevin Love’s 15, the rest of the team combined to put up 39. They shot just 19% as a team from deep (5-of-26) and turned the ball over 17 times.

Turnovers will be key in determining the outcome on Wednesday. The Bulls are one of the worst teams in the NBA in terms of turning over the rock but have taken better care of the ball with LaVine out.

Cleveland has done well to force their opponent to turn the ball over ten or more times in 23 of the last 24 games. If they can loosen the Bulls’ grip on the ball, they can make the game close.

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