The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls square off this Sunday in what should be a thrilling showdown between playoff contenders in the East. The winner will also gain the upperhand in the regular-season series.
Catch this game live on Sunday, March 13, at 9 AM, Manila time.
Away: Cleveland Cavaliers (38-28/18-17 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Darius Garland
- SG: Isaac Okoro
- SF: Lauri Markkanen
- PF: Dean Wade
- C: Evan Mobley
The Cavs will travel to Windy City worn out and feeling frustrated after a lackluster showing in a 117-105 loss in South Beach to the Miami Heat Saturday. All the momentum from back-to-back wins over the Toronto Raptors and the Indiana Pacers are now gone for Cleveland, which is now 2-1 against the spread in its last two games await from home. The Cavs just looked like they didn’t have it in the Miami game, shooting just 44.3% from the field and 32% (8/25) from deep.
And they also had 17 turnovers, which was way high even by their standards. Cleveland entered that game 27th in the NBA with 14.8 turnovers per game. Those turnovers resulted in a massive total of 30 points for the Heat to just 10 off Heat errors by the Cavs. Darius Garland, who had four turnovers against the Heat, will look to make better decisions while staying aggressive. He shot 4/17 Saturday but was 15/16 from the free-throw line to finish with a team-high 24 points. Garland had 24 points as well on 9/16 shooting in a 115-92 home win over Chicago back in December.
Home: Chicago Bulls (40-26/24-10 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Ayo Dosunmu
- SG: Zach LaVine
- SF: Javonte Green
- PF: DeMar DeRozan
- C: Nikola Vucevic
The Bulls finally stopped their bleeding, as they scored a 114-108 road win against the Detroit Pistons last Thursday. Chicago walked into that contest having lost five games in a row during a brutal stretch that included matchups against the likes of the Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Heat. When up against the heavyweights and playoff contenders, the Bulls usually struggle this season. They are only 12-19 against teams with .500 or better records.
That being said, the Bulls are 5-2 in their last seven home games and 3-2 against the spread in their past five outings at United Center. And after getting their groove back in the win versus Detroit plus and with some good rest, the Bulls can be expected to play with more coherence, especially against a tired Cavs team. Chicago has also defeated the Cavs in the most recent meeting between these teams, also at home last January, to the tune of a 117-104 score. DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic had 30 and 24 points, respectively, in that contest. With the Cavs missing Jarrett Allen this time around, DeRozan and Vooch could feast in the paint this Sunday.
Spread: The Bulls are going to pounce on a fatigued Cleveland unit for the win and cover (-2.5).
Over/Under: There’s something wrong with Chicago’s defense, but it’s not going to be fully exploited by a Cavs team that might not have the energy to keep up in a fast-paced contest. Taking the Under (220.5) here.