Basketball

Lavine, Bulls Take On Cavaliers Preview

Zack Lavine leads Bulls to Wednesday's matchup against Cleveland.
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bulls (17-8) will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 1st time this season. Evan Mobley and the Cavaliers are coming off a 112-104 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks. While the Bulls are coming off a great team win against the Nuggets 109-97.

Three Keys For Bulls To Get Win

1. Next Man Up Mentally

With the Bulls having five players out against the Cavaliers, including DeMar DeRozan, all of the role players need to step up and help Lavine and Vucevic. The most significant players that need to play well include Ayo Dosunmu, Derrick Jones Jr., Tony Bradley, and Troy Brown Jr. The Chicago native Dosunmu got 11 points and eight assists in 42 minutes Monday night. This season, Derrick Jones Jr. has been a significant free agency signee, including a 12 point performance in 28 minutes on Monday night. Tony Bradley started seven games while Nikola Vucevic was dealing with COVID-19 for ten days, and on Monday night, he had a plus-minus of +18. Another significant plus-minus number is from Troy Brown Jr., he played 24 minutes, but he played great defensively.

2. Guard the Bigs

The Bulls have been known to play a lot with their “small-ball lineup,” But the Cavaliers have the opposite, and they start an extensive man lineup including Evan Mobley, 6’11, former Bull Lauri Markkanen 6’11, and Jarrett Allen 6’10. The Cavaliers are 8th in the NBA with offensive rebounding and 13th in rebounds. This will be a problem that the Bulls must face with only having two true centers of Nikola Vucevic and Tony Bradley.

3. Zack Lavine

Lavine has been used to carrying the Bulls by himself, but not this season with the new additions, including Demar DeRozan. Lavine is averaging 25.9 points so far this season. He will be asked to be the most significant scorer on the court to lead the Bulls to the road win. Most importantly for Lavine is to get his teammates more involved instead of doing everything by himself. Last game, he got nine assists, which has been rare to see out of Lavine.

Injury Report

Bulls

PlayerReason
Coby White Out: COVID-19 Positive Test
DeMar DeRozanOut: Health Protocols
Javonte GreenOut: Health Protocols
Alex CarusoOut: Health Protocols
Matt ThomassOut: Health Protocols
Patrick WilliamsOut for season: Left Wrist

Cavaliers

PlayerReason
Collin SextonOut for Season: Knee
Dylan WinderOut: Calf
Dean WadeOut: Calf

Game Prediction

The Chicago Bulls will get a close win against a tough Cavaliers that will be ready. But Zack Lavine will carry this Bulls squad to another victory to bring the win streak up to four games. Expect the bigs of the Cavaliers to have solid performances.

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