Chicago Bulls (10-20) at Cleveland Cavaliers (23-9)
The Chicago Bulls will take their rebuilding show on the road tonight to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. At just 10-20 on the season, the Bulls struggled badly to start the season. However, they have won seven straight games and seem to have found a way to win recently.
The Cavs, on the other hand, seem to be coasting a bit as they wait for Isiah Thomas to join the squad and are content at 23-9. The Cavaliers are -10.5 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 214.5-points. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM PST from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
I don’t ever remember a team that started so bad hitting a streak like the one the Chicago Bulls are on right now. They started the season 3-20, that is near historically bad. And it wasn’t all that unexpected. They lost Dwayne Wade and Jimmy Butler in the offseason, and this was a clear rebuilding season in Chicago. So, it makes it that much more intriguing that they have reeled off seven straight victories.
The key to this recent success? Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic is a Spaniard that just resigned with the Bulls in the offseason. He joined the team and after getting into a fight with a teammate, missed the entire season, up until last week. Mirotic has played seven games this season. The Bulls record during that stretch? 7-0.
This reminds me of when an unknown Jeremy Lin showed up at MSG and started killing it for the Knicks. If only Lin were a 6-10 monster with great footwork and a nose for the ball. Is this a fluky run for the Bulls or have the baby Bulls grown up and learned how to win?
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the best team in the Eastern Conference again this season. The Celtics will run out of gas down the stretch without Gordan Hayward, and the Raptors are incapable of winning big games in the playoffs. Its Cleveland’s title to lose and they and the rest of the Eastern Conference knows it.
At this point Lebron and company are just biding their time, waiting for the newly acquired Isiah Thomas to finally take the floor and replace Kyrie Irving. Irving is killing it in Boston, I am curious what IT will do in Believe-Land.
I believe in sports magic. I believe that once in a while a team can catch fire for no reason and do things and beat teams they shouldn’t. I can list you hundreds of examples where a team of misfits comes together, and the coach gives them the “nobody believes in us” speech in the locker room, and they get fired up and go beat the “unbeatable’ team. As much as it sounds like the ending to a bad Disney movie, it absolutely happens. Right now, there is a little bit of magic in these Chicago Bulls.
This team was built to lose, very openly. It is a rebuilding year, and the Bulls are expecting another pick high up in the lottery. And you know what? They might lose their next ten games straight and end up in the lottery.
But maybe there is a little bit of magic. Lauri Markkanen looks like a future All-Star, and Kris Dunn is doing what everyone thought he would, coming out of college, a little bit of everything. Throw in a fired up Mirotic and all the sudden you have a winning basketball team.
I am going to hope that this magic lasts just a little bit longer. I like what the Bulls are doing, and I think they are going into Cleveland to prove a point. Are they going to win at Cleveland? Probably not. But can they stay competitive and prove that they are a team that demands a lot more respect than they have been getting? I think so. I am backing the Bulls on the road, I’ll snatch up the handful of points and hope for a competitive game.