GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Bulls

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Tristan Thompson, Alonzo Gee, Anderson Varejao
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold return to Quicken Loans Arena tonight to square off against the Chicago Bulls at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (4-12) will look to bounce back after falling to the Celtics, 103-86, in Boston last night. Dion Waiters led the Cavaliers with 21 points, four rebounds and six assists in 34 minutes off the bench.

Waiters has scored in double figures in nine of his last ten games, averaging 16.3 points during that span.

The Bulls (7-7) ended a four-game skid with Wednesday's 99-79 win at Detroit. It was third game without Derrick Rose after he was lost for the season due to a torn meniscus suffered in last Friday's loss in Portland.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Sergey Karasev, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Andrew Bynum

Bulls: PG - Kirk Hinrich, SG - Tony Snell, SF - Luol Deng
PF - Carlos Boozer, C - Joakim Noah

Injuries: (Cavs) - Earl Clark, (Illness, Out), C.J. Miles, (Right Calf Strain, Questionable)

(Bulls) - Derrick Rose, (Right Knee, Out), Jimmy Butler, (Right Toe, Week-to-Week)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The two teams last met on November 11th in Chicago with the Bulls knocking off the Cavs, 96-81, despite the Cavaliers being down by just three points with 4:55 to go. Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 16 points.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 80-112 against Chicago (49-46 Home, 31-66 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

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 fourth-lowest point total at 91.8 per game and are scoring the fifth-fewest at 92.3 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. Cleveland is averaging 8.6 steals per game, which is good enough for eighth-best in the NBA.

Key Matchup

Bench Battle

Both the Cleveland and Chicago enter tonight's contest having to rely heavily on their benches with the Cavs on the heels of a back-to-back and the Bulls fighting some injuries.

The Wine and Gold reserves have been consistent throughout this young season. Cleveland’s bench has scored at least 50 points in four of the last five games and is averaging 54.0 points over that stretch.

On the season, the Cavs reserves are averaging 38.1 points (4th-most in the NBA) and have outscored the opponent’s bench in 13 of 16 contests. Against Boston on Friday, the Cavs bench crew outscored the Celtics reserves 56-16.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 218

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.

Programming Note

Tonight, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Cavs – Bulls game (7:30 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets – Bruins game (7:00 p.m.). Please refer to these programming details by clicking here.

Promotions/Ticket Offers

  • Team Poster giveaway presented by The Jim Giltner Financial Group
  • All-You-Can-Eat Seats - More Info

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs face the Denver Nuggets at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday, December 4th at 7:00 pm. ET.