After many defeats that could be categorized as their worst loss of the season, the Chicago Bulls put on one of their best performance of the 2020-21 campaign on Monday. They were brilliant against the 5th seeded Boston Celtics and earned a 102-96 victory. To do it against a playoff team, without on your best player, and on the road is super impressive. Nikola Vucevic put the Bulls on his back by scoring 29 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Coby White got the start at point guard again and impressed, scoring 19 points and seven assists despite going five of 14 from the field.
The win now puts Chicago back in the drivers seat for 10th place. Although they are tied with the Wizards, they have the tiebreaker and are half a game back of Toronto. Indiana losing Monday also helped as the Bulls are now two games behind them for 9th place. After a tough stretch, Chicago has looked to be turning things around but they have to keep it up. Tonight is no different as they face a team for the second time in as many days.
Cleveland Cavaliers were the team the Bulls were able to beat last Saturday, snapping their six game losing streak in the process. Some clutch shooting at the end by Lauri Markkanen and Vucevic was able to hold off a late rally from J.B. Bickerstaff’s squad. Cleveland is currently 20-37 which is 13th in the East. They are entering this contest on a three game losing streak. After their defeat to Chicago, the Cavaliers couldn’t turn it around against the Detroit Pistons on Monday. Despite 28 points from Collin Sexton and 23 from Darius Garland, Cleveland wasn’t able to come back from a 15 point first quarter deficit in the 109-105 loss.
These two teams met so recently that the matchups and things to watch for will likely be the same. Coby White, Garrett Temple, and Tomas Satoransky will have their hands full dealing with the backcourt of the Cavaliers. Sexton and Garland can put up points in a hurry and will surely keep Cleveland in it. The Bulls will be looking for another good offensive game like the one they had on Saturday.
Injury Report: Troy Brown Jr. is doubtful with a left ankle sprain while LaVine is still out due to Health and Safety protocols.
Meanwhile for Cleveland, they will be missing Damyean Dotson and Dylan Windler who both are out with left knee soreness.
Also, as said by the team (via Marc Stein), Bickerstaff will not be coaching tonight due to personal reasons. Assistant Greg Buckner will be in charge.
Game Time: 6 PM CT
Odds: The Bulls are a 2 and a half point favorite in this one. As for the over/under, it is set at 210.5 but you can find totals of 210 and 209.5 depending on where you look (all info via the Action Network).