February 27, 2024

Cavaliers ( 32-21) @ Bulls (33-20)

After exacting revenge against his former team, LeBron is ready to take charge in the last game before the All-Star break. Thursday night marks another divisional matchup between the Wine and Gold and the Windy City Bulls. The Cavaliers are 2-0 so far this season against the division-leading Bulls.  A close first game led up to a Cavaliers dominated second matchup. One of the Bulls biggest weapons on both ends, Jimmy Butler will not suiting up Thursday night. Butler is tops on the team in scoring so far this season with 20.4 PPG. With Butler out, this gives the surging Cavs that much more momentum and advantage coming into the contest.

Here are some things you need to know before watching:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls – United Center

Game start: 8:00 P.M. National TV- TNT

Projected Starting Lineups

Cavaliers:

PG: Kyrie Irving: 21.8 PPG, 5.3 APG, 3.3 RPG, 46.8 % FG

SG: J.R. Smith: 11.8 PPG, 3.0 APG, 2.6 RPG, 40.8 % FG

SF: LeBron James: 25.8 PPG, 7.4 APG, 5.6 RPG, 49.0 % FG

PF: Kevin Love: 17.0 PPG, 2.3 APG, 10.4 RPG, 42.9 % FG

C: Timofey Mozgov: 9.2 PPG, 0.5 APG, 8.0 RPG, 53.1 % FG

Bulls:

PG: Derrick Rose: 18.7 PPG, 5.0 APG, 3.1 RPG, 41.2 % FG

SG: Tony Snell: 4.4 PPG, 0.6 APG, 1.9 RPG, 43.8 % FG

SF: Mike Dunleavy: 9.4 PPG, 1.7 APG, 3.7 RPG, 44.6 % FG

PF: Pau Gasol: 18.4 PPG, 2.9 APG, 12.2 RPG, 49.5 % FG

C: Joakim Noah: 7.6 PPG, 3.6 APG, 9.5 RPG, 44.1 % FG

Matchup to watch for:

Two of the best playmaking point guards are going head to head tonight in the Windy City. Derrick Rose, who battled injuries earlier on in the season, looks to show his experience against the young Kyrie Irving. Although Kyrie Irving made the All-Star team this year and Rose didn’t, look for Rose to show that his past injuries won’t hold him back against one of the best point guards in the league. Rose and Irving haven’t played their best games when playing each other, Rose left the first game this season with two sprained ankles, missing many games thereafter. In their second matchup this year, Irving struggled from the field. With Rose looking to prove he still belongs in the elite company of point guards, and Irving looking to keep his almost MVP form this season, look for a fantastic showing from both guards in this first half finale.

Injuries

Cavaliers:

  • Brendan Haywood: Day to Day
  • Anderson Varajao: Season
  • Kevin Love: Questionable for Thurs.

Bulls:

  • Jimmy Butler: Out Thursday
  • Kirk Hinrich: Day to Day

Game Notes

  • Cavaliers 9-1 in last 10.
  • Bulls 6-4 in last 10.
  • Jimmy Butler to be out of Skills Challenge and game tonight.
  • Kevin Love questionable after eye injury Wednesday.
  • This game is last in NBA until after All-Star break.
  • With a win Cavaliers will hold 1st place in division.

 

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