GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Bulls
The Cleveland Cavaliers (1-0) square off against division rivals, the Chicago Bulls (1-0), tonight at Quicken Loans Arena. Each team comes into their second game of the 2012-13 campaign having won their season openers with the Wine and Gold knocking off the Washington Wizards 94-84 and the Bulls coming away with a 93-87 victory against the Sacramento Kings.
In their opener, the Cavaliers defense held Washington to 35.6 percent shooting from the field, including a mere 25.0 percent from downtown. Conversely, Chicago shot 41.8 percent and turned the ball over 18 times, but held the Kings to 40.5 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers. After allowing a league-low 88.2 points per game last season, Chicago again expects to be one of the NBA's top defensive teams.
Chicago comes into the contest without their leading scorer, Derek Rose, who is recovering from knee surgery. The Bulls went 18-9 in games Rose missed last season.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao
Bulls: PG - Kirk Hinrich, SG - Richard Hamilton, SF - Luol Deng
PF - Carlos Boozer, C - Joakim Noah
Injuries: (Cavs) - None (Bulls) - Derek Rose (Left Knee, Out)
*Subject to change
Chicago leads Cleveland in the all-time series, 108-79, including a 64-30 mark in games played in the Windy City, but the Cavaliers have a 49-44 advantage playing at home. The Wine and Gold dropped all three meetings against the Bulls last season.
The two teams met in the preseason on Oct. 12 in Champaign, IL, where the Cavs held the Bulls to just 30-86 (.349) shooting, including 1-19 (.053) from behind the three-point line, en route to a 86-83 win. Dion Waiters lead the Cavaliers with 18 points including a perfect 4-4 from beyond-the-arc.
Key to the Game/Key Matchups
Key to the Game
Getting Off to a Fast Start
The crowd at The Q was as electric as it has ever been on Tuesday night for the Home Opener and the players seemed to really feed off of that energy. With it being a Friday night, and expectations of another solid crowd, if the Wine and Gold can jump out to a fast start, it will only propel them throughout the entire contest.
Anderson Varejao vs. Joakim Noah
The key matchup would be at point guard had it not been for Derek Rose's injury; however, there is another great matchup which should have just as much impact on the outcome.
Big men, Anderson Varejao and Joakim Noah, are near mirror-images of each other, not only in their style of play but also in their physical appearance. Both players are extremely active, smart, team players whom give 100 percent every minute they are on the floor.
Varejao had a strong performance against the Wizards, setting career highs in total rebounds (23), offensive rebounds (12) and assists (9), while adding two blocks in 37 minutes. Noah, had an impressive game himself notching a team-high 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds and five steals.
Where to Catch the Action
Theme: Kids Postgame Free Throws
Access Cavaliers Night:
Includes a ticket to the game, an all-you-can-eat pregame buffet with the Cavalier Girls, Scream Team and Cavalier Legends, a Cavaliers t-shirt and more. Buy Tickets
Includes four Cavs tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas starting as low as $79 – or $19.75 per person, for a $41 savings! Buy Tickets
Friday Night Out:
Grab a best friend, girlfriend or just someone from the office and enjoy two tickets plus a loaded ticket value starting at $50. Buy Tickets