As good as the Bulls have been the past few years, they haven’t opened up a season 2-0 since the 2002 season. The Cavaliers are here to help the Bulls out a little bit. The Bulls have won eight straight against the Cavs, and will try to make it nine in a row tonight when they head into Cleveland.
The Bulls offense in the first game looked pretty rusty, for the most part. Even with big contributions in points from Noah (23), Rip Hamilton (19) and Boozer (18), the Bulls only shot 41% from the field. With no single presence to give the Bulls 26 points per game every night, the scoring is going to have to be more balanced and everyone is going to have to do their part to get to the basket and score.
Deng will be pretending the first game didn’t happen scoring wise and try to restart in this game after only going 3 for 13 in shooting and only scoring 7 points. With Rose out, the 2011-2012 All Star Deng was looked at to be the Bulls hopeful lead scorer. And if he wants to be an All Star again this year, Deng will have to prove to the league he is one.
Defensively, the Bulls were as smothering as always. They held the Kings to only 87 points (their average last year was holding teams to 88), made them shoot 40% from the field and forced 19 turnovers. The Bulls had 18 turnovers themselves, however, and are really going to have to work on holding onto the ball better.
There are a few players on Cleveland that aren’t going to let the Bulls walk away with an easy win.
Reinging Rookie of the Year, Kyrie Irving, started off his season with a bang on Tuesday night scoring 29 points in a win against the Wizards. His partner in the backcourt, fourth pick rookie Dion Waiters, also decided to start his NBA career on the right foot. He contributed 17 points in his first NBA game.
However, the highlight from that game (in my opinion), was the play of Anderson Verejao. He absolutely dominated the board, grabbing 23 rebounds. Not only that, he also pitched in 9 assists and 9 points. On top of that all, it was his first game played in 41 games for the Cavs since missing the last 41 with a broken wrist.
Tip off is at 6:30 tonight on Comcast SportsNet.