We waited over two years to see Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose play in the same game. It was sort of anticlimactic. Kyrie was especially sleepy for much of the first three quarters and didn't do much of anything until much later in the game. Derrick Rose was meh. He looked better than he's been so far this season, but it wasn't anything special. Rose also left the game after grimacing and looking slightly in pain. PANIC IN CHICAGO. In the end, the Cavs remained winless on the road (0-5 on the season) and dropped to 3-5 with a 96-81 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Andrew Bynum started for the Cavs in the place of Anderson Varejao. Andy came off the bench and it seemed to work just fine. Bynum played a season-high 21 minutes and worked over Joakim Noah in the post a couple of times.
Anthony Bennett did not play in this game. I actually think this might have been the right decision. If Mike Brown talks to Bennett and told him that he was going to give him the night off, that's fine. It might be a good idea to give Bennett a chance to clear his head and recover from the shoulder injury he suffered a few nights ago. I just hope that Mike Brown is straightforward with him and doesn't hurt Bennett's confidence even more.
Now about that first half...[REDACTED]
Let's just skip to the second half. It was much better. Dion Waiters started hitting some shots in the third quarter and he was really the main reason that the Cavs were able to stay in this game. Once the fourth quarter rolled around, Kyrie got going a little bit. He hit some shots and had a sick and-1 in transition.
Going into this game, I never expected the Cavs to win it. Of course, I want Cleveland to win a road game eventually, but playing at Chicago is never easy. Especially for an offense that is so clearly not on the same page right now. They'll get better. And they'll start to beat some of these better teams -- eventually. The fact that they didn't roll over and were able to keep it close throughout the game was impressive to me.
Tristan Thompson played really hard and had another double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. I continue to like Tristan Thompson. I might need a Tristan Thompson t-shirt jersey soon. (PS: My birthday is in 10 days.)
The Cavs once again went to the three-guard lineup down the stretch. Just like in the 2OT game against Philly, Jarrett Jack, Dion Waiters, and Kyrie Irving were all on the court late in the fourth quarter. With about 3 minutes left, CJ Miles took Jack's spot. I don't know how I feel about these combinations so far. I like knowing that Mike Brown trusts the guards to all play defense and if they can sustain the level that he wants on that end, then the added offense certainly helps. But it puts a lot of pressure on Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao to rebound.
Ultimately, the Cavs just didn't have enough. They played like garbage for much of the game, but were still competitive for 48 minutes. It's a step. Kyrie Irving won't shoot 5 of 19 from the floor on most nights and the Cavs will get better on offense as a whole. I'm not really that upset about it, although I'm sure some of you are. Let's talk it out.
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