Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls – NBA March 24

Cavaliers (16-27, 5-15) at Bulls (19-23, 9-15)

  • Time: 5PM PST – 7PM CST – 8PM EST
  • Place: United Center, Chicago, IL
  • TV: NBC Sports Chicago | Fox Sports Midwest | NBA League Pass

Opening Tip

The Cavaliers open a four-game road trip in Chicago before heading west for three games. Cleveland is 2-2 over its last four but has also lost five out of seven.

Chicago has lost three out of its last four and the Bulls are 4-6 in March. This is the last home game before the Bulls hit the road for nine out of 10 games which starts on Saturday in San Antonio and ends April 12 in Memphis. Chicago’s lone home date is April 4 vs. Brooklyn.

Cleveland is five games off the eighth-place Boston Celtics and likely headed for the NBA Draft Lottery once again. Chicago is in ninth and one back of Boston in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago won the season series, 3-1, last season as the Bulls won the two at the United Center.

Key Injuries

  • Cleveland CavaliersMatthew Dellavedova (appendectomy) – OUT | Andre Drummond (trade talks) – OUT | Kevin Love (calf) – OUT | Taurean Prince (shoulder) – OUT
  • Chicago BullsN/A

Cavaliers:

  • The Cavs sit at 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games
  • The total has been over in 4 of the Cavaliers’ last 5 games
  • Cleveland is 5-14 ATS in it’s last 19 games against Chicago

Bulls:

  • Chicago is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 6 of the last 7 Bulls games and the last 5
  • The UNDER has been strong in 5 of Chicago’s last 7 home games vs. the Cavs

Last Time Out

Sacramento took control of Monday’s 119-105 win over Cleveland in the third quarter as the Kings hit at 23-9 run to open the half en route to an 86-68 lead and the Cavs never again threatened. Javale Magee leads Cleveland with 18 points and nine rebounds while Collin Sexton posted 15 points and dished seven assists.

Utah defeated the Bulls, 120-95, on Monday night as Zach Lavine had 25 points but had a tough shooting night in making only 10-of-25 shots. Chicago shot only 40.4 percent from the floor and made only six three-pointers.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Cavaliers +6 (-108) +200 O 216 (-110)
Bulls -6 (-112) -240 U 216 (-110)

Advantage, Cleveland

Cleveland Cavaliers LogoThe Cavaliers are in a tough place offensively as they are last in the NBA in three-pointers made (9.4) and three-pointers attempted (27.5) as well as turning the basketball over at a pace of 15.8 turnovers per night. Collin Sexton continued to lead Cleveland (24.0 ppg, 4.8 apg) in scoring and has been on fire of late as he has shot 60 percent from the floor and 47.1 percent from distance in these four games.

Sexton has averaged 27.3 points per game in the Cavs’ recent home stand and has averaged 26.2 points per game while shooting 53.4 percent from the floor. Darius Garland is ascending on the point as well in averaging 21.5 points and 4.5 assists in the four-game clip.

Key Cavaliers Stat

Defensively, the Cavs are able to hold their own as they are ranked in the Top 10 in the NBA with 8.26 steals (6th), 5.14 blocks (10th) and 15.3 turnovers (7th). The three-point defense continues to be a solid part of the team as the last three opponents have made 35-of-94 triples.

X-Factor

Former Auburn star Isaac Okoro has had a solid rookie season as he is in the staring lineup as he is defending at a consistent clip while shooting 48.1 percent from inside the arc. Okoro, Sexton (Alabama) and Garland (Vandy) form an all-SEC backcourt that will do the Cavaliers well for many years if management commits to keeping them together.

Advantage, Chicago

Chicago Bulls LogoZach Lavine (28.2 ppg) continues as the cornerstone to the franchise as of now as he continues to shoot at a high clip from both the floor (52.7%) the three-point line (43.7%). With Lauri Markkanen coming back from injury eight games ago, the length that Chicago can play with on both ends of the floor should be a deterrent to opponents. Coby White has struggled of late in averaging only 9.6 points over his last seven games. His matchup with Garland and Lavine vs. Sexton will go a long way in deciding the game.

Key Bulls Stat:

The Bulls’ defense gets in trouble vs. guards who can create off the dribble or when teams can post and score in the paint and on the boxes. Opponents shoot at a 54.6 percentage inside the arc and the Bulls are just not as aggressive as they need to be on the perimeter as their 8.6 steals per game is last in the NBA and they allowed Utah 50 paint points on Monday.

X-Factor:

Chicago’s Patrick Williams and Wendell Carter, Jr. vs. the Cavs’ Larry Nance, Jr., and Jarrett Allen should be interesting. As a rookie Williams (9.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg) is showing the ability to go out on the perimeter and draw the defense to knock down the deep two or the three.

Allen (13.6 ppg, 9.7 rpg) is the most experienced player of those four, and the presence of Javale Magee for the Cavaliers and Thaddeus Young (12.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.4 apg) for Chicago make the dynamics in the post on both ends of the floor an interesting watch.

Winner: Bulls (-6) 115, Cavs 108

The Bets
Chicago Bulls -6
-112
Chicago Bulls
-240
OVER 216
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.