Bulls vs Cavaliers at 7pm on WGN

This game is about as straight forward as a win as you could possibly ask for:

1) The Cavaliers have lost 15 straight and are simply terrible.
2) It's a home game.
3) It's a back to back for the Cavs, but the Bulls have a day of rest
4) The Bulls should have Carlos Boozer back for the game

However, after losing twice to the Bobcats in the last week or so, I take nothing for granted.


Keys to the game

Make it to the game on time

As noted above, this is probably about as straight forward a win as possible.  If the Bulls managed to lose this game (without some type of catastrophic injury) then I'm not sure what I'll do, bu tI promise the rant won't be good.

Try not to get too excited by Bears / Packers tomorrow

No distractions.   I know the guys are probably trying to figure out their party plans to watch the big game, but they can't let that get in the way of beating up on Cleveland tonight.

Seriously though, just take care of business

Focus on the defensive glass, don't turn the ball over, don't make
mistakes.   Force Cleveland to beat you with their own skills rather
than allowing them to beat you off of your own mistakes.

Bring energy early and build up a lead.   Don't let the bad teams hang around and have a chance to get lucky at the end.

Final thoughts

Anything can happen on a given night, but it's more or less inexcusable to drop this game.

Comments

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  • Do you think this is a break-out game for Bogans...He finally has found a match-up with a guy named Alonzo Gee(must be a D-leaguer)which he can dominate..
    My prediction: Bogans goes for 20 and 10

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Gee's a fairly decent player, athletic, good shot, gets a good amount of steals

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    #1 key to the game: Bring the energy. It can be difficult to do that when you are playing against the worst team in the NBA, but you cannot play down to their level. Cleveland is almost at the point where they are tanking games, if that hasn't started yet. So bring the energy early & put them away.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Agreed. Start fast, put their foot on the Cavs' neck, play clean, mistake-free ball, and then end strong. First quarter should be a good indicator of the flow of the game. If it looks good, they should demoralize them into an easy win.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Just beat them and get it over with. Hopefully D Rose can throw down another monster jam lol

    LETS GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!! Lets go to the SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The Cavs are so bad that even if Boozer doesn't play I'd expect Big Macs.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Not much to say except - no excuses. just play solid defense, let D-Rose take over on offense, and they can have a nice party later...

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Hi guys

    If you haven't seen NBA.com League Pass is free for today and tomorrow so if you want to watch the game online just login and watch. If you are not able to watch/record the game tonight it will be available to watch online with League Pass tomorrow (again free).

    Go Bears..... I mean Bulls!

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Good looking out. I'll check the lineup for tomorrow for something to watch after the bears game (if im not too drunk by then).

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    No mentions of Carmelo in this thread so far today. I'm extremely dissapointed.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Melo to the Bears for Peppers, Cutler, and first round draft pick. Make it happen!!! :-)

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Haha, Funk just said in and out on a Bogans three that was a complete brick and not even close to going in.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Bulls off to a solid start. Cleveland not getting good looks, Bulls generally taking good shots (though Boozer looks like he wants to make up for lost time in terms of shot attempts so far).

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Thibs not trying to come to the half court and seems to be sitting on the bench so far. Haven't seen that much before. Maybe...he thinks it is not worth his energy to do that against this team...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    wrote too soon...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Definitely, Bulls have gone nuts trying to go to the low post with minimal success so far.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Bogans has managed to hoist up 4 shots already. Impressive volume for him, he even knocked down one of them. The Bulls as a team 6/21 from the field and still nursing a three point lead.

    Boozer pacing them with 1/3rd their shot attempts, points, and makes with a 2/7 for 5 points.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    ROFL there are actually people in the crowd with Cavs jerseys. Really?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Bulls so far have tried to go into the post on five possessions for two points (though one of the possessions the ball was tipped out of bounds, so Boozer didn't get a shot attempt).

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Bulls not really playing well but damn the Cavs are horrible, t5hey should just forfeit the rest of their season rather than subject people to this.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Rofl, I agree. Defense has been good, but the Cavs offense doesn't look too hard to defend.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Hilarious when they pan to Byron Scott after Kurt Thomas gets an And1, he looked like "why the hell did I take this job?"

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yeah, it looked like he was thinking "When I said I'd take it whether LeBron stays or not I didn't think it would be legally binding!"

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls playing down to the Cavs level, the Cavs are not a good enough defensive team to be struggling the way the Bulls are.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Bulls offense seems lazy so far. When Boozer was in they just dumped it and stopped moving. Rose has missed some drives, but no one really moving in the offense well for the most part.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yeah I've been all for feeding Boozer when he has a favourable match up but not if it's give him the ball and he throws up a shot no matter what.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'd like to see James Johnson in games like these. He should be motivated and play with high energy. And it's not likely that he hurts the team's chance to win by making stupid decisions. The Cavs are just not good enough for that to happen. Imo bringing good energy and effort is key to beating teams who are so much less talented than yourself.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    I'd like Thibs to find a place for him, but it's clearly not going to happen. I don't blame Thibs for not playing everyone, but I would like to see Johnson get that 10th man role over Bogans.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think Thibs really has absolutely no trust in JJ. But still, you'd have to think that Johnson is still a player who could be useful for you at some point in the future. Even if he's told not to do anything but playing tough defense, rebound the ball and run the floor up and down as hard as possible. The Bulls are not a very athletic team on the perimeter (with Rose being the exception). I'm even a bit disappointed in Brewer, he doesn't seem to have much lift and there are many times he can't finish a fast break. JJ could be a good defender, and within Thibs system maybe even a great defender. He's got all the physical tools, and I just can't figure out why Thibs isn't using him at all. He could be so valuable if he just got Deng off the floor 10 minutes a night.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    This is a perfect game for Asik to get some confidence in his game and practice his moves. I don't think he has much success in practice against Kurt Thomas or Noah.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Watching the Cavs, it's not hard to envision why they've lost 25 of their last 26 games.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think it's fair to say a 10 point lead is slightly disappointing.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls up by 10 at the half, fairly mediocre play overall, but the Cavs are simply terrible. Without AV the depth is far worse, the hustle is far worse, and they look like they've just given up on the season.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Take notice.....Omar is on a comity campaign. He's chatting up the officials during the foul shots.
    So far it's working. Only one call against him.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    ugly game so far, but the Bulls are doing enough to stay in the lead. D-Rose looks a little under the weather or something, he's been pulling back and not attacking the basket as much.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    And Boozer wasnt guarding Jamison's 3 point shot

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    this one is starting to smell kind of foul

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    anyone notice that other than this game, deng[s 3 point % has dipped pretty near his career average of 32.1% (he's at 34%)

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    The point is not that. He is taking and making some during some important moments. Plus, he would gone inside the line and taken a long 2 pointer last year.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    The one big issue with Taj which might hurt his career is he picks up fouls quickly and gets out of rhythm...

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    pumpfakedrive-pumpfakedrive-pumpfakedrive-miss offense going strong without rose and boozer as always... Either the bulls come up with somoe incredibly creative offensive sets to get something from these lineups or they need a new #3 scorer

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    the real testament to how horrible the bulls offense has been lately is thart teams have been double teaming rose at half court every time without any fear

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    He's had a real rough January, shooting 23% (excluding this game).

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I think the Bulls stole the Cavs offensive playbook (or lack of such) at some point mid way through the third.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I think taj gibson must be missing VDN, he looked a hell of a lot better playing for him, and he played a hell of a lot more too

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    A win is a win, that little spurt to put it away you felt like they could put on whenever they needed to, wish they'd done it a quarter earlier when they were up by 20 to make the last quarter garbage time though.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I think it was more like the cavs changed their defense for some reason and that opened up some shots, but they sure couldnt have gone on that stretch before. THe cavs also kept shooting horrible shots, this was more of an escape win than anything. Those awful offensive strectches have been hapenning all too frequently

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    The Cavs were never going to score much, that bad shot after bad shot is their offense, half the guys they're playing are D-league type guys who don't even know the plays.

    As far as offense goes sure the Bulls have struggled, but this isn't the Celtics or the Lakers, it's the Cavs who are comically bad at defending any type of play. About the only way you can fail to score is to stop all player/ball movement and take bad shots like the Bulls did for a huge stretch.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    it amazes me how horrible they are every time we play them, jacking up threes with bulls defenders in their face. I don't mind, though.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Well we won but needed to fight for this one way too much!
    This was a perfect game for JJ to play in, but we couldn't keep a big lead so didn't see JJ for us...JJ for the Cavs is full of potential as well and is finally getting playing time with Lebron gone!

  • In reply to smiley:

    JJ Hickson is getting playing time and proving he's no damn good, it was LeBron that way making him look like he was a young guy with potential. Without LeBron his field goal percentage is down 7%. The Cavs should have sent him out in a trade before he exposed himself as a flop.

  • In reply to smiley:

    Can the bulls get anything for Gibson in a trade? maybe him and brewer can fetch a decent sg.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Sophomore slump or his 2 best friends murdered this year, Gibson's concentration is inconsistent. He sure seems to play better when he starts.
    But tonight he was slow on defense, passes slipped through his hands and only hit 1 shot

    I don't think they'll trade him though. He's a competitive Power Forward with a year and a half to go on a cheap contract.. And Boozer is a poor defender. Even tonight Thibs brought in Gibson to defend Jamison in the 3rd when Boozer wasn't going out on him.

    Learn to love him. I don't think he's going anywhere soon.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I've gotta think this year has been tough for Taj Gibson, with all the personal tragedy. I also agree with WALDOOCK, when he asserts that he isn't leaving anytime soon. Gibson's a pretty good player. Even on off nights.

    GO BULLS!!!

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I have to think its just a slump for Taj. He looked so damn good to start the year, particularly that jump shot, which became almost a knock-down shot.

    He seems like one of those guys the refs tend to pick on a little as well. I think that frustrates him.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    The SG would have to be more than decent to make up for the loss of defense if they give up Taj and Brewer.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If you're going to have a game where you're not really switched on best to have it against the Cavs who aren't going to hurt you for it.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    C.J. playing well again. He's not putting up big numbers, but he has been really helping the team lately.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I have to say, he's surprised me since the start of the season. I thought he was a really terrible fit, but he's come along quite nicely. Maybe he just needed some time because he played in such a different kind of system in Golden State.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Wow Kyle Korver gets an uncontested three from the inbounds play, the Cavs are really that bad.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    Just as I compliment Watson he throws one into the stands.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Watson: can play good defense, shoot well but just cannot pass in pressure situations... Did he play much of a distributing PG at all?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    He's a short SG with some ball handling skills.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    At times Watson reminds me of Jamal Crawford, constantly freeing himself with his dribble but then too scared to go into the paint.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Rose's shows his improved defense again. He really gets up and contests shots lately, getting a lot of blocks.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think he's realised without Noah he can't take plays off and hope he gets bailed out anymore. Hopefully he keeps the intensity up when Noah gets back.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It's hard to imagine this game being any more difficult to watch without the Bulls falling behind. Just ugly basketball.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Bulls really aren't playing well at all half way through the first period and are still up 12-4.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Happy must be in Denver trying to convince Melo and meeting his sources;-)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Glad to see this one is on WGN America so I have something to occupy my mind while waiting for kickoff tomorrow. I second the hope that Boozer can play very limited minutes. Is he living up to his "injury-prone" rep?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Would hate to see the Bulls take a step back on defense and not play with focus thus making this win harder than it should be. A lost here would be horrible.

  • We just have to go and smash them. Build an early lead and cruise the rest of the way. No need to let them hang around. We don't want Boozer out there for 35+ minutes on a questionable ankle.

    Since Cavs suck at defending I see KK having a good game. I see Rose letting others score and mostly facilitate.

    Win by 15pts or more. Scal to have 5-2-2 game on 6 minutes.

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