Bulls at Cavs Preview: The playoff race is heating up in the Eastern Conference, and every game has plenty of importance at this point in the season. On Wednesday night it will be the Cleveland Cavaliers hosting the Chicago Bulls in a very meaningful matchup.
Chicago comes into Cleveland having won two straight games, and the Bulls are in a much better position than the Cavaliers are. The Bulls sit in10th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 24-33, but there is still plenty of time to make a move.
Cleveland has now lost three straight games, and they are in danger of falling out of the playoff race for good. The Cavaliers have gone just 20-37 this season, but this was expected to be a rebuilding year for the franchise.
The Chicago Bulls are slight two-point road favorites over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
Bulls at Cavs Preview and Pick: Bulls Doing it With Defense
The Bulls have struggled to get stops on the defensive end of the floor all season long, but they have found their way in the last two games. Chicago held the Cavaliers to just 96 points over the weekend, and then shut down an explosive Boston Celtics team.
Offense has not been a problem for the Bulls, but they do come into this game without the services of All-Star Zach LaVine. The guard is scoring more than 27 points per game this season, and his absence leaves a massive void for the Bulls on the offensive end of the floor.
The acquisition of All-Star center Nikola Vucevic has saved the Bulls without LaVine, and he just seems to do everything extremely well. Vucevic does not have take over a game in the same way that LaVine does it, but he has been great in a Bulls uniform.
Chicago does have the tendency to shoot poorly from the three-point line, and that can be a problem for them at times. The Bulls will need to find a way to get some bench scoring from the perimeter to win this game.
Bulls at Cavs Preview and Pick: Cavaliers Can’t Score
The Cleveland Cavaliers struggle to do a lot of things well, but scoring the basketball has been the biggest issue for them this season. Cleveland is averaging just 103.8 points per game, which is by far the lowest scoring average in the league.
Collin Sexton and Darius Garland have formed a terrific backcourt duo in Cleveland, and there are pieces in place to be good in the coming years. Sexton leads the team with 24.3 points per game while Garland has dished out more than six assists per night.
Cleveland has been a solid team on the defensive end of the floor, posting numbers that are right around league average. The lack of scoring does affect their defensive focus at times, but the Cavaliers could make things hard on the Bulls on Wednesday night.
Bulls at Cavs Preview and Pick: Bulls Beat Division Rival
Don’t expect a ton of points to be scored in this game, and that actually works in the Cavaliers favor. Cleveland has not been a good offensive team all season long, but this team has been able to defend.
The Bulls are missing their best scoring option, but head coach Billy Donovan has this team playing great defensively. Look for Chicago to employ a similar strategy, but the Bulls do have the ability to score points when needed.
Chicago will still be playing without their biggest star, but it’s not going to matter against a struggling Cavaliers team. Bet the Chicago Bulls -2.0 over the Cleveland Cavaliers in this important game in the Central Division.
Chicago Bulls 107
Cleveland Cavaliers 99