GameDay Preview: Cavs at Bulls

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Dion Waiters, Jimmy Butler
Gary Dineen/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold are back on the road for the next two games, beginning tonight against Central Division rival the Chicago Bulls. Tipoff at the United Center begins at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Cavs are coming off a 127-125 double-overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. In the contest, Cleveland (3-4) had 10 steals and 10 blocks on the night, while setting season-highs in points (127), rebounds (50) and assists (28).

Chicago enters tonight's contest with a 2-3 record after beating the Utah Jazz, 97-73, in the Windy City this past Friday.

In that victory, the Bulls made 52.8 percent of their shots while Utah made 29.4 percent. It was the first game in the Bulls' 48-season history in which they shot better than 50 percent from the floor while holding their opponents below 30 percent from the floor (Elias Sports Bureau).

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Bulls: PG - Derrick Rose, SG - Jimmy Butler, SF - Luol Deng
PF - Carlos Boozer, C - Joakim Noah

Injuries: (Cavs) - Carrick Felix, (Mild Sports Hernia, Out)

(Bulls) - None to Report

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers defeated the Bulls in their most recent meeting, a 101-98 win at the United Center on February 26th. In the victory, the Cavs’ bench outscored the Bulls reserves 36-19. Dion Waiters led the Cavs with 25 points on 10-16 (.625) shooting in 36 minutes.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 80-111 against Chicago (49-46 Home, 31-65 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Controlling the Tempo

Like most teams in the Central Division, Chicago wants to play a slow-paced, grind-it-out game. The Bulls are allowing the third-lowest point total at 93.0 per game and are scoring the third-fewest at 91.6 points a contest.

The Wine and Gold should avoid a slugfest and look to take advantage of fastbreak opportunities in hopes of increasing the tempo of the game.

In order to create fastbreak chances, the Cavs will have to rely on their defense to create turnovers. Through seven games, Cleveland is averaging 10.0 steals per game, which is tied for the 4th-most in the NBA. Six Cavs players are averaging at least one steal per game: Dion Waiters (2.0), Anderson Varejao (1.6), Jarrett Jack (1.1), Earl Clark (1.0), Alonzo Gee (1.0) and C.J. Miles (1.0)

Key Matchup

Backcourt Battle

In the Cavaliers victory on Saturday, Head Coach Mike Brown road a three-guard lineup down the stretch. The trio of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Jarrett Jack combined to tally 83 points in the win.

On Saturday, Jack became the 6th player since 1970 to come off the bench and put up at least 20 points, four rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks in a single game. The last player to do so was Minnesota’s Tom Gugliotta on March 14, 1995 at San Antonio (23 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals, 3 blocks). (Elias Sports Bureau)

Tonight, the Cavs backcourt will have their hands full with former MVP, Derrick Rose, and the talented newcomer, Jimmy Butler. Rose has the ability to take over a game while Butler is a perimeter force at both ends of the floor.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM 221, Sirius 217

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.

Be sure to check cavs.com for Joe Gabriele's live in-game blog providing instant analysis and game notes. Plus, get into the discussion as die-hard Cavs fans talk about the game on CavFanatic's GameDay Thread.

On Deck

After tonight's game against the Bulls, the Cavs head north to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center on Wednesday, November 13th at 8:00 p.m. ET.