Dating back to the days of Michael Jordan (and that’s a long time ago now), the Chicago Bulls have been a matchup disaster for the Cavaliers.
Things have been particularly bad recently – with the Bulls having won nine in a row. And the Bulls aren’t just beating the Cavs, they’re beating them in just about every way imaginable. The Bulls are, to put it simply, beating the Cavs down.
Again, this dates back to the late 1980s. But let’s stick to this season.
So far, all the Bulls have done is completely shred the Cavs to the tune of 115-86 in the second game of the year.
Oh, did we mention that game was at The Q?
Did we mention it came without former NBA MVP and Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who missed that game (and will miss this one, too) with a knee injury?
Did we mention the Bulls frontcourt limited Anderson Varejao — the Cavs’ double-double machine — to 12 points and five rebounds in that game?
And that right there may be the Bulls’ secret to success (at least recently). They have been able to calm the Cavs’ Wild Thing. They have been able to neutralize Varejao. This season, that’s been next-to-impossible for every other team.
But not the Bulls. Their frontcourt features big men such as Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, two borderline All-Stars themselves.
Noah is actually the Bulls’ version of Varejao, with the same type of hustling energy near the basket and the crazy hair to match. Boozer is just plain physical, gifted and skilled.
Together, they can be more like a pair of bears than Bulls.
The Bulls are an excellent defensive team, they’re unselfish offensively, they give great effort and they can get downright physical.
In this era, like many others, it’s been an unmanageable situation for the Cavs.
Wednesday night, however, the Cavs get the opportunity to change all that. Well, not all of it. But all of it for one night.
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
8 p.m. EST
FOX Sports Ohio HD (Cavaliers Live pre-game show begins at 7:30 p.m.)
Cleveland – WTAM-1100 AM (broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m.)
C – Joakim Noah; PF – Carlos Boozer; SF – Luol Deng; SG – Marco Belinelli; PG – Kirk Hinrich. Coach: Tom Thibodeau.
C – Anderson Varejao; PF – Tristan Thompson; SF – Alonzo Gee; SG – Dion Waiters; PG – Jeremy Pargo. Coach: Byron Scott.
Waiters has a sprained ankle and did not practice Tuesday after missing the first game of his young NBA career Monday at Detroit. … It seems unlikely Waiters will play, although Scott did not rule it out, identifying Waiters’ status as “50-50.” … If Waiters can’t go, Scott did not indicate who would start in his place. Monday, Scott moved Omri Casspi into the starting lineup and shifted Gee to shooting guard. Scott all but ruled that out for Wednesday. … The Bulls are coming off an 80-76 home loss to Indiana. … They will be without Rose and regular shooting guard Richard Hamilton (foot). … Nate Robinson came off the bench to lead the Bulls with 19 points on Tuesday. He tallied 16 points and 12 assists in the game vs. the Cavs earlier this year. … The Bulls lead the all-time series, 109-79.