Keys To The Game: Bulls at Cavaliers (3.26.22)

The Bulls have struggled as of late, going 3-7 over their last 10 games. Despite their recent woes, the Bulls still sit comfortably in the crowded Eastern Conference playoff race.

Chicago comes into Saturday night as the fifth seed in the East, 4.5 games back of the first place Miami Heat. The Bulls offense has carried them through stretches where their defense struggled, but now they are facing a cold streak on that side of the ball as well.

Here is how the Bulls can get back on track on Saturday night.

Hunt quality shot attempts

The Bulls have to get ready for playoff basketball, which means trusting the pass, abusing mismatches and eliminating tough shots for players not named DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine.

Chicago shot over 51% from the field and 41% from the 3-point line in their loss to the Pelicans. They need to improve their defensive intensity dramatically, but they way the Bulls played offense against the Pelicans need to continue, regardless of who is in the lineup.

Stay out of foul trouble

The Cavaliers have been a different team without All-Star center Jarrett Allen, but they still look to use their size down low to their advantage.

Potential Rookie of the Year winner Evan Mobley has been sensational this season but has a massive load to carry on both sides of the ball sans Allen.

Excessive fouling of Mobley and/or Lauri Markkanen in the paint or any of the Cavs guards would give them a break in the action and easy buckets. This would terrible against a Cleveland team that doesn't--on paper--have the personnel to matchup with Chicago's offense in a free-flowing game.

Look for fastbreak points early

The Bulls are an excellent transition offense but they lost in this category against the Pelicans in their last game, getting outscored 16-12 in this category.

With athletes like LaVine, DeRozan and even youngsters like Patrick Williams back in tow, Chicago should be able to find quick scoring opportunities against most squads. Even more so against a Cleveland team that will be without the lynchpin of their defense.

If the Bulls attack in transition they will have a chance to build up a comfortable lead, something that has been a big issue as of late.