Bulls lose in Cleveland
The Bulls travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers with the Bulls coming in at 17-8 whilst Cavs are 13-12. It was a difficult game as another player, Matt Thomas, was lost to Covid safety Protocols before the game becoming the 4th Bull to enter it. Lauri Markkanen was a big discussion in this game as a former Bull but Cavs have threats all over especially in rookie Evan Mobley.
It was a crazy start with some sloppy play from the Bulls along with some bad turnovers and early fouls that allowed the Cavs an early 6 point lead. But the Bulls wouldn't go away, eventually taking a lead after 8 minutes. This game was fast paced and there was a lot of back and forth to start. The Bulls injury problems became evident when Devon Dotson checks in for his earliest NBA appearance after 9 mins into the first. After time is up the Cavs lead 29-24 to end the first quarter which saw the Bulls without a single trip to the free throw line opposed to the Cavs who were 8/10 from the line.
Into the second and the Bulls need to change something on the offensive side of the ball but fail to find their rhythm as they are down 13 in the 1st 3 minutes of the second quarter. Bulls get into the bonus and their 1st free throws of the game come with 7:47 of the half left. First half comes to an end with the Bulls trailing the Cavs 43 - 52 and it was a frustrating half to watch from a Bulls fans perspective.
LaVine 17 pts, 4 assists
Bulls shooting 39.1%
Mobley and Garland 12 pts each for Cavs
An early 4 point play from Lonzo Ball gave the Bulls hope as they get to within 5 but some poor shooting sees them down 14 within 4 minutes of the half. Nikola Vucevic had a frustrating night going 5-18 from the field as the Bulls aren't showing much as they find themselves down 22 with 4 minutes left in the quarter which ends with them down 66 - 82 to the Cavs. The Bulls struggles are evident by the fact that they don't have 1 point from any of the bench players after 3 quarters.
The Bulls start the 4th poorly, giving up 5 early points but Tony Bradley gets the 1st bench points after 1:15 into the fourth. There was very little difference as far as production in the fourth quarter as it mirrored the entire game prior and saw the Cavs claim the W with a 115-92 final score.
This was always going to be a tough game for Bulls and maybe one people expected to lose with having so many players out due to Covid protocols or injury. Give credit to Cavs rookie Evan Mobley who seemed to really enjoy his performance.
It's hard to write anything positive about Bulls on this as nothing really went right for them this game. Lack of bench scoring, a poor night from Vucevic scoring wise and poor form from the free throw line didn't help their chances against a sneaky good Cavs team. But in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter the Bulls just have to hope we have no more players enter Protocols in the future.
They'll enjoy, and need, 2 days off as they head into a Saturday night game in Miami to face the dreaded Heat.
-Matt H. (Twitter:@matthearn1)