Chicago Bulls (41-14 SU 42-38-2 ATS) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (61-21 SU 39-42-1 ATS) Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH 8 Pm EST Monday April 19, 2010 on TNT
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Bulls +10.5 / Cavaliers -10.5
Tonight the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of an opening round playoff series in the Eastern Conference. Joakim Noah stated before the series that the Bulls were going to try to shock the world by beating the Cavs in this series, but they will have to try harder after getting killed in Game 1.
This season the Cavs are 35-6 at home and the Bulls are 17-24 on the road.
In Game 1 of the series Cleveland beat Chicago 96-83 on Saturday.
In the first game of the series the Cavs won by 13 points and they crushed the Bulls on the boards out-rebounding them 50-38. The Cavs had many easy baskets since they had 13 offensive boards. Brad Miller and Joakim Noah will have to man up and hit the boards hard, as if the Cavs dominate the glass again the Bulls will be heading home down 0-2 in this series.
Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao combined for 25 rebounds in Game 1 and if they can come close to those numbers again the Cavs should easily win this game.
Jamison and Mo Williams combined to score 34 points and LeBron James had 24, which is around 6 points below his season average. The Bulls need to not key on James, but the other Cavs and not allow them to have good scoring nights.
Derrick Rose played well in Game 1 with 28 points, but the other Bulls starters only scored 38 points on a combined 17/44 shooting. The Bulls only hit one 3-pointer in Game 1 and they need to shoot the rock better from outside in tonight’s game.
Chicago wins with defense and in Game 1 they allowed the Cavs to shoot 46.4% from the floor. If they keep Cleveland’s FG% down in tonight’s game and their offense plays better they have a chance to win this game, albeit a slim one.
In Game 1 the high scorer for the Cavs was LeBron James going for 24 points on 9/19 shooting and the high scorer for the Bulls was Derrick Rose going for 28 points on 13/28 shooting. On offense the Bulls were 37/87 from the floor for a FG% of 42.5% and the Cavs were 39/84 from the floor for a FG% of 46.4%. The Cavs committed 18 turnovers in the game and the Bulls only had 14.
This season the Cavs ranked 9th in the league in scoring (102.1 ppg) while the Bulls only ranked 24th (97.5 ppg). On defense the Cavs ranked 5th in the league in opponents’ points allowed (95.6 ppg) and the Bulls ranked 13th (99.1 ppg). The Cavs were one of the best teams this season on the boards with a rebounding differential of +4.0 rpg and the Bulls were at a respectable +1.8 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Cavs rank 1st (96.36) and the Bulls rank 18th (89.18).
Chicago is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 road games, 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games against teams with a winning percentage above 60%, and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff games as an underdog of 5.0-10.5.
Chicago has an Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 games, and Under record of 4-1 in their last 5 road games, and an Over record of 7-1 in their last 8 playoff games when they are the underdog.
Cleveland is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games, 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games as a favorite, and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 home games against teams with a losing road record.
Cleveland has an Over record of 8-3-1 in Cavaliers last 12 games as a home favorite of 5.0-10.5 and an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite.
In the last 6 games between these 2 teams the total has gone Under 5 times.
On the injury front PG Sebastian Telfair, C Shaquille O’Neal, and SF LeBron James are day-to-day for Cleveland while Chicago is not reporting any significant injuries.
Jason’s Pick: There were some words exchanged between these 2 teams in Game 1 so tonight’s game may be more physical. That is just fine for the Cavs, who have much more height and size inside. The Bulls simply do not have the interior players to keep the Cavs off the boards and I see Cleveland dominating the glass again. The Cavs will come out and handily win this game and cover the spread taking a 2-0 lead in this best of 7 series.