Much like the Bobcats proved to be the remedy for the Bulls after the Heat debacle, the Cavaliers will hopefully provide the same after the Thunder disaster. The Bulls have beaten the Cavs 11 straight times, and also received a bit of good news in the morning about Tuesday night's game:
Kyrie Irving (knee) out tonight for #Cavs vs Bulls— M.S. Boyer/J. Valade (@PDcavsinsider) February 26, 2013
Injured knee, eh? I think that's just an excuse for missing #TheReturn...of Kirk Hinrich that is:
Kirk Hinrich participated in shootaround and is gametime decision vs. Cavs. #Bulls— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 26, 2013
Hinrich has gotten sort of a rep as "Kyrie's Kryptonite," and looking at the small sample size theater from this year, there's actually good reason for it. In 34 minutes with Hinrich on the floor this year, Irving is just 4-of-15 with six turnovers. Kirk also did well against him in that preseason game in Champaign.
Since Hinrich did take part in shootaround, I'm assuming that he will go. He of course should be very helpful for a Bulls offense that has mostly stunk it up of late, outside of that easy win against the Bobcats.
In other injury news, Taj Gibson is obviously out with that sprained knee. I'm sure we'll see plenty of small ball out there tonight, although it will be interesting to see if Tom Thibodeau decides to use more Nazr Mohammed or Vladimir Radmanovic.
The Cavs have been playing somewhat better of late, but without Irving, I really don't view them as much of a threat. Sure the Bulls have struggled lately, but they have the Cavs' number and the offense should look better if Hinrich is back (which I'm sure we'll hear about). So yeah, I expect a win. For more on the Cavs since I didn't provide that much, be sure to check out Fear The Sword. They do really good work over there. Oh, and Shaun Livingston will get the start at point guard in his home state. So that's kind of cool.