With a win today over the Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers can essentially clinch the Central Division, and by extension, all but guarantee that they'll be the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference when the playoffs start.
Heading into today's game, the Cavs are three games up on the Bulls. A win here puts the Cavs four games clear of the Bulls and gives them a 3-1 edge in the season series. In a crazy scenario in which the Cavs win today and then somehow end up tied with the Bulls at the end of the season, a win today would guarantee that Cleveland still holds onto the No. 2 seed. Without question, this is the most important game on the Cavs' remaining schedule.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls
Where: Quicken Loans Arena - Cleveland, Ohio
When: 3:30 p.m.
Opposing Team's Blog: Blog A Bull
Music: "Be Free" - J. Cole
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction
The Bulls are battling their fair share of injuries at the current moment - both Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich are out Sunday - but did have a day off before today's game. For the Cavs, Kevin Love will return to the startling lineup and this puts the Cavs at full strength.
The Cavs really should have some advantages here. The battle down low isn't a wash by any means - Joakim Noah. Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol is beyond formidable - but the Cavs have handled the Bulls' frontcourt well this season. The key for the Cavs will bet getting Kyrie Irving going early and often and then having his play opening up the floor for everyone else on the floor. I think that happens, although it should be harder than normal for Kyrie to get space inside. Love, however, helps as his presence on the floor alone crates space in the lane that doesn't exist when the Cavs play Mozgov and Thompson together and/or the Cavs play certain groups of wings together.