The Cavaliers just cannot beat the Bulls these days. The Cavs have lost 10 straight against their Central Division opponents, and the main reason being that over the past two years (and this one), the Bulls have been a matchup nightmare. Bulls big men Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer are two of the biggest reasons why, with those two offsetting Anderson Varejao. Those two won’t even have to worry about Varejao tonight, as he remains out with a knee contusion. Basically, it could be another long night for the Cavs.
Venue: United Center, Chicago
TV/Radio: 7:30 p.m. FOX Sports Ohio/WTAM
All-Time Series: Bulls lead, 110-79.
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (8-27) C Tyler Zeller PF Tristan Thompson SF Alonzo Gee SG CJ Miles PG Kyrie Irving
CHICAGO BULLS (18-13) C Joakim Noah PF Carlos Boozer SF Luol Deng SG Rip Hamilton PG Kirk Hinrich
• The Bulls are an excellent defensive team and have done a nice job containing Irving. That’s especially true of Hinrich, who may defend Irving better than anyone in the league.
• Along with Varejao, Daniel Gibson (concussion) and Luke Walton (personal matter) are out for the Cavs. Hinrich (knee) is listed as day-to-day.
• The Bulls’ 10-straight victories vs. the Cavs is actually their second-longest active streak. They’ve beaten the Pistons 16 straight.
• The teams already met twice this year in Cleveland. The final meeting of the season comes Feb. 26 in Chicago.
• The Bulls have sold out 103 consecutive games at the United Center. They might be hard-pressed to do so again tonight, with Midwestern favorite Notre Dame playing in the college football title game.