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Chicago Bulls vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game preview and thread: the Caruso return game, finally!

and a division battle

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls (40-26) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (38-28)

The Chicago Bulls could really use a quality win.

The last time they beat a team that currently has a winning record was a Feb. 11 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves. In fact, since Jan. 1 they only have two other wins against teams that are currently above .500 as of March 11.

The Bulls recent struggles against good teams are well documented. Good news tonight is that Alex Caruso is finally back which should give the Bulls defense a boost.

At the very least, getting Caruso should shore up a Bulls defense that has been porous. The Bulls defense has dropped all the way down to No. 21 for the season in defensive rating and all the teams behind them are mostly a disaster.

Since Jan. 1, the Bulls defensive rating is even worse at 26th best (or fifth worst) in the league.

The Cavaliers have a top ten offense since the New Year based on offensive rating so that really doesn’t bode well for the game tonight. The Cavaliers have been kind of the feel good story of the NBA so far this season. Without the services of arguably their best player in Collin Sexton, they sit firmly at No. 6 in the Eastern Conference with a legitimately good 38-28 record. The Bulls have split their games against their division foe so far this season,

The Cavaliers are working on their first winning season since 2018 and are also looking to prove they can be successful with that one dude named LeBron on their team, something they haven’t done in a very a long time.

But it’s a Tristan Thompson Cleveland revenge game so look out Cavaliers. Bulls by 40 at least.

Injury Report:

The Bald Mamba is back. NBA.com lists Alex Caruso as available and if he ends up playing tonight since Jan. 21 during that infamous Grayson Allen is a scumbag game.

Because the Bulls can’t have multiple nice things at once it seems like, of course Zach LaVine is listed as out with left knee soreness, even after multiple off days including not practicing yesterday.

For the Cavaliers, former Bull Lauri Markkanen is out with right ankle soreness and Caris LeVert is listed as out as he’s been ever since the All-Star break.

Game Time: 7:00 CDT; NBC Sports Chicago