Will Joakim Noah rip on Cleveland again, or have they suffered enough? It seems almost cruel to mock the city now. The Cavaliers have fallen off a cliff after getting blown out in their superbowl when Miami came in and crushed them. They're also coming off a back to back, having lost at Philadelphia last night.
No need to sugar coat it, if the Bulls don't win this one, it will be
embarrassing. Granted, sometimes you lose games to terrible teams, but
the Bulls have done a nice job of winning the games they should win this
year, and Thibodeau doesn't strike me as the type of coach who will let
his team get complacent.
Keys to the game
Bring it early
Bad teams in a funk can fold quickly when you jump out to a big lead and rarely have teh firepower to come back even if they don't. This team has lost five in a row and has a bunch of veterans that know they aren't a good team or going to have a good season. The last thing you want to do is give a bad team hope. Don't let them hang around and have fortune decide the outcome later.
Play your game
The Bulls are better at PG, SF, PF, C. No one special needs to step up and go above and beyond. No singular matchup needs to be exploited. The Bulls can win at virtually every position on the court, so everyone just needs to play inside the flow of the game, share the ball, and let the game come to them.
Don't beat yourself
Bad teams usually win due to a combination of second chance points, turnovers, and great three point shooting. There's no reason the Bulls should lose in those first two categories. The Bulls have better rebounders, so they shouldn't struggle on the glass. They merely need to control their own turnovers and contest the Cleveland shooters.
Don't think about the Lakers
This is a classic trap game as the Bulls face the Lakers in two days. While it's an easy win as long as the team shows up focused, this is the NBA, any team can beat anyone else once.
This is a game the Bulls should win easily. Seriously look at the matchups in terms of talent, and the Cavs might not win anything except SG and backup PG, and even those are debatable. The Bulls have the Cavs killed on talent, so only a lack of focus is going to cause a loss tonight.