Game Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls – December 2nd, 2016
UPCOMING MILESTONES: With two three pointers, Kevin Love moves into 10th in Cavaliers’ franchise history, passing Damon Jones.
After being handed their two worst losses in consecutive games – 101-108 to the Milwaukee Bucks and 94-113 to the L.A. Clippers – the Cavaliers now look to win one in Chicago against the 10-7 Bulls, who are coming off a 96-90 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and have lost three of their last five games.
On this retooled Bulls team, the midrange shot is key. The Bulls are attempting the second most midrange shots per game. In addition, 48.1% of their shots come from over three feet and before the three point line – compared to the Cavaliers who only take 32.3% of their shots in this wide range. From beyond the arc, the Bulls are shooting the second least amount of three pointers per game and have the seventh lowest 3PT%. On the offensive glass, they average the most offensive rebounds per game in the league.
On defense, the Bulls allow the seventh least amount of points per 100 possessions, 101.4. They’ve also held their opponents to the 4th lowest FG% on two point shots. However, they are allowing the 10th highest opponent 3PT%, so the Cavaliers may be able to strike from range if they are on.
With no days of rest for the Cavaliers as they look to complete the last half of a back-to-back, fatigue may play an issue. This season, the Cavaliers are 1-1 on games with no days of rest. However, with two lackluster performances behind them, Cleveland certainly recognizes the need to break this early losing streak.
Key players to watch for on the Bulls will be Jimmy Butler – averaging 25.6 point, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game – Dwyane Wade – averaging 18.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game – and Taj Gibson – averaging 11.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.
Tipoff is set for 8:00 PM EST and will be broadcast on FOX Sports Ohio and ESPN.