Preview: Bulls at Cavaliers, April 19th

April 19th, 2010 by John Krolik

What the Bulls need to do to win:

-Keep LeBron James frustrated. LeBron got his points in game one, but had a hard time finding consistent success in half-court situations and never settled into a passing groove. If LeBron’s on his game, the Bulls might not have enough talent to keep up with Cleveland.

-Pray the threes don’t fall. The Bulls did a good job collapsing the paint, but left the Cavs’ shooters open beyond the arc. The Cavs missed most of their looks in game one. The Bulls have to hope that trend continues.

-Do a better job containing Mo Williams. When Williams can’t get anything going off the dribble, the Cavs become much easier to stop. In game 1, he was able to get to the spots he wanted to get to.

-Get Derrick Rose to the line. Rose had to work for every one of his points in game one. He needs some easy baskets in game two if the Bulls want to have any chance of putting up points.

-Attack the Cavs off the dribble. It’s not a perfect plan, but the Bulls have to at least try to make Cleveland’s bigs move their feet instead of settling for deep twos.

-Get Luol Deng going. Not sure how, but it’s hard to win with your best wing going 5-15 from the floor.

What Cleveland Needs to do to win:

-Keep playing defense. The Cavs had a dominating defensive effort in game one. If they can keep that up, they’re in great shape.

-Get LeBron James going, especially in the half-court. Not the hardest thing to do in the world, but something to focus on.

-Use Shaq inside early. The Bulls can’t stop him without fouling. That could mean lots of time in the bonus.

-Make threes, as discussed above.

-Get something out of the two-guard spot. Delonte and AP both need to step up their efforts on the offensive end.

-Don’t let up. Doesn’t matter if it’s a 40-point lead. You do not want to take ANY chance of the Bulls stealing home-court. The Cavs say they’re hungrier than ever before. They should show it by leaving no doubt if they get up big.

-Don’t let Noah get you out of your game. This isn’t a time for vendettas, cheap fouls, and harmful techs. The Cavs have bigger goals than the Bulls in mind this post-season. Let it go and play the game.

-Use Mo to free up LeBron. The Bulls defend LeBron well in ISO situations. They can’t stop Mo off the dribble. Use Mo’s penetration to get LeBron some catches on the move and easy baskets. Wouldn’t mind seeing the playoff debut of the Decoy pick-and-roll/Kraken tonight. (Darn you, Shaqken. I had a good Kraken thing going.)

Recommended Reading:

Bulls By the Horns


I may be doing some Daily Dime Live tonight, but I’ll also be contributing to the live-blog at I’ll definitely be there pre-game, post-game, and maybe during halftime, with some DDL sprinkled in during commercial break. See you there.