The Central Division leading Chicago Bulls (29-8) travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers (13-20). The Bulls are led by defending MVP Derrick Rose (22.4 ppg) and the Cavs are led by Rookie of the Year candidate Kyrie Irving (18.5 ppg).
The Bulls won the first meeting by 39 points, the worst home loss in Cleveland’s history. The remarkable thing about that is the Bulls were without Derrick Rose in the first meeting.
The Bulls come in touting a four game winning streak since D Rose’s return. He is averaging 25 points per game during that four game win streak.
The matchup to watch will be the much anticipated battle between Kyrie and Derrick. Fans of good basketball were robbed of what is sure to be a very entertaining match-up in the first meeting of these two teams.
Rose has averaged 2 points more than his current average in his last five in Cleveland and Carlos Boozer always seems to show up against his former team. Rose showed up last game against fellow All-Star Tony Parker in a lot harsher of an environment, so I fully expect him to show up against the Rising Stars game MVP.
The Cavaliers come in with a three game losing streak, including falling to Lin-sanity last game after being up by 17 at one point in the game. This has been a rebuilding year for the Cavs, who look for Kyrie and fellow first round draft choice Tristan Thompson to pull the Cavs out of the crater left after the bomb known as “The Decision” was dropped.
The X Factor matchup will be the matchup of Anderson Varejao and the red-hot Joakim. Both are known for their hustle plays and hard fought rebounds. They play with such emotion that every game against each other is a blast to watch.
Varejao had a few sports writers calling for an All-Star spot as he is the glue that has helped the Cavs franchise stay competitive and also to the 8th best rebound per game average in the NBA.
This rivalry seems to have lost it’s competiveness after the 39 point drubbing the injury plagued Bulls put on the Cavs earlier this year. The Bulls race to be the first team to 30 wins in this shortened season should be completed Friday night in Cleveland, but like Kevin Garnett immortalized, “Anything is Possible.”