Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls: Predictions and Betting Odds

How to Watch

Where: United Center, Chicago, IL

When: Sunday, January 27th, 3:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Ohio, WGN | WTAM 1100 / 100.7 WMMS / 87.7 FM (ESP) and 670 The Score / Univision Chicago 1200 AM

Cleveland Cavaliers (Away)

Head Coach: Larry Drew {All-Time 152-303 | ATL, CLE}

The Cleveland Cavaliers are far from their NBA Finals challenging form from last season. With a record of 9-40, the Cavaliers are sitting last in the Eastern Conference and last in the NBA overall.

The Cavaliers have lost five games in a row as a part of their 1-9 run over the last ten matches. They maintain a point differential of -11.4, as they’ve been dominated by opponents in their recent matches.

Against the Chicago Bulls the Cavaliers take on a young and ambitious team, much like themselves. While Chicago maintains a bit more quality than the Cleveland Cavaliers, they are wholly beatable by the Cavaliers if they can exploit the Bulls leaky defence and inefficient offence.

Chicago Bulls (Home)

Head Coach: Jim Boylen {All-Time 6-18 | CHI}

What was a promising entrance into the 2018-2019 season for the Chicago Bulls turned into an absolute mess due to a combination of injuries, organizational issues, and attitude problems. With a record of 11-37, the Chicago Bulls are thirteenth in the Eastern Conference with very little chance of climbing the rankings.

The Chicago Bulls won over the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last match up, but that is their first win in their last ten games (1-9). The Bulls also maintain a point differential of -10.2, better than only their opponents the Cavaliers in the East and the NBA.

The Bulls defeated he Cavaliers easily in their last matchup by a score of 104-88. Zach Lavine couldn’t be stopped on the inside while the combined efforts of Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker came off the bench to maintain their strong inside play. The Cavaliers will be privy to their schemes, so the Bulls will have to move the ball effectively if they want to take another one from the Cavs.

What’s At Stake?

The Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers are two of the more veteran franchises in NBA history. Since the early 1970s the Cavaliers and Bulls have met 214 times, with the Bulls leading the all-time series 125-89.

A win for the Hawks would bring them within 3.5 games of catching the Orlando Magic who are in eleventh in the East.

A win for the Cavaliers would do nothing for their standing, keeping them last in the East and the NBA.

Questions to answer

Is the Cavaliers coaching search already underway?

Is Boylen’s coaching outdated?

We are going to compare the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Larry Drew is not likely to return

When Tyronn Lue was let go by the Cavaliers, the insertion of Larry Drew into the head coaching role was the pragmatic choice. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers front office, Drew did not want the position without a proper commitment to the position. The Cavs and Drew were able to meet in the middle, as he is the head coach for the season until they find a replacement over the summer.

Losing LeBron James sent the Cavaliers into an absolute free-fall. Now that Larry Drew is essentially out at the end of the season, quite a few names are being considered for the job. Those names include: Nuggets assistant Jordi Fernandez, Magic assistant Steve Hetzel, Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, Hawks assistant Chris Jent, Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley and Jazz assistant Alex Jensen.

By the looks of the Cavaliers crop of candidates, they are looking for a coach that is valuing player development in the long term. All except for Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin coached in the G-League before being called to the NBA ranks. Their hiring and development methods leave a question regarding their veteran players and who will be made available, considering many will likely seek greener pastures.

Coach Jim Boylen had a lot to say in a 15-minute radio spot.

Jim Boylen has been criticized for his methods in his short six-weeks at the helm of the Chicago Bulls. Boylen described his method as “breeding competitiveness” and made clear that he has no regrets or problem with how his coaching tenure began with the team. Boylen is trying to remove any amount of ego from the Bulls team, saying:

“Practice is important to me. The great players I’ve been around and the great teams practice hard they compete in practice. We’re trying as a staff to raise the level of our practices. Practice matters. We have a young team, we don’t have a team of All-Stars. We don’t have a team of guys who have accomplished a whole bunch in the league. We need to work and practice and I value that. That’s establishing something with this group that important to me, a priority for me.” – 670 The Score’s Mully and Haugh Show

It is a tough road for the Bulls going forward. They are full of young talent that are ready to be moulded into star-level players. Whether Jim Boylen is the man for that is still up for debate. When Boylen was asked whether or not the team was buying into his methods he assured them that they were, with no elaboration to follow.

Cleveland Cavaliers Roster Notes

C John Henson – Out (Wrist) – The team announced Henson had successful surgery on his wrist Tuesday (Nov 27) without a timetable for return.

F Kevin Love – Out (Toe) – Love said he’s still weeks away from returning to the court, according to Tom Withers of the Associated Press.

F Larry Nance – Day To Day (Knee) – Nance was listed as questionable for Friday’s (Jan. 25) game against the Miami Heat.

Day To Day (Ankle) – Nwaba did not play in Wednesday’s game (Jan. 23) against the Celtics.

F-C Tristan Thompson – Day To Day (Left Foot Soreness) – Thompson did not play in Wednesday’s game (Jan. 23) against the Celtics.

Chicago Bulls Roster Notes

F-C Wendell Carter – Out (Left Thumb) – The Bulls announced that Carter Jr. is dealing with a left thumb injury. The team has recommended surgery, which would put a recovery time period from anywhere from 8-12 weeks.

G-F Denzel Valentine – Out For Season (Ankle) – The Bulls announced that Valentine had left ankle stabilization surgery. He will miss the rest of the 2018-2019 and is expected to return to full basketball activities in six months.

Head-to-Head: Jordan Clarkson vs Zach Lavine

Jordan Clarkson

Shooting Guard | 6-5, 194lb (196cm, 87kg) | Missouri | Exp. 5 Years

16.7 PPG | 2.2 APG | 3.1 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 1.6 TOV | .451 FG% | .336 3P%

Zach Lavine

Shooting Guard | 6-5, 200lb (196cm, 90kg) | UCLA | Exp. 5 Years

22.9 PPG | 4.2 APG | 4.2 RPG | 1.0 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 3.5 TOV | .451 FG% | .352 3P%

The Bulls and Cavaliers will match up, led by two dynamic scoring combo-guards leading their respective backcourts. Two-time NBA Slam-Dunk Champion Zach Lavine has returned from injury and looks every bit the electric scoring guard he has been touted to be. Meanwhile, Filipino guard Jordan Clarkson leads the struggling Cavaliers as he shoulders the burden of scoring option and veteran leader only five years into his young career.

If there is one thing that Jordan Clarkson knows how to do, it is score the basketball. A capable threat in isolation or as a spot-up shooter, Clarkson can be streaky but can also heat up in an instant. Due to his scoring and playmaking ability, Clarkson has seen his usage sky-rocket (28.7%) in comparison to any other season in his career. The Bulls will likely key in on him, so Clarkson will have to make the right play when pressured by the Bulls defence.

Zach Lavine returned from injury this season and is back to his high-flying ways. Averaging a career high in scoring with the Bulls this season, Lavine is doing his best to make a lost season for the Bulls into a great personal season for himself. Lavine is a microwave offensively, but defensively he is incredibly passive with a Defensive Box Plus-Minus of -1.8. Considering he will be head to head with Clarkson all night, Lavine will have to focus in if the Bulls want to take one from the Cavaliers.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls Predictions and Odds

p>The odds makers have the Chicago Bulls favoured over the Cleveland Cavaliers by 9, with an over/under of 110.