Normally preseason games do not mean much and that has never been more true than tonight. The preseason contest between the Cavaliers and Bulls was more of a D league game than an NBA matchup. The Cavs left their top players at home and brought a roster to Chicago full of players more likely to see the court in Canton than Cleveland.
To be clear: LeBron, Kyrie, Love, Shumpert, Thompson, RJ, Frye Bird Man, Dunleavy are not only not playing tonight -- they didn't make trip— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) October 14, 2016
And on the night when it was announced the that Cavaliers and beloved shooting guard JR Smith reached agreement on a new deal its hard to give this game much more than a quick a look at the box score.
The Cavs opened up the game hot against a few of the Bulls projected starters, including Wade and Rondo, and jumped out to a 10-2 lead. The rest of the first half the Cavs retained the lead, with Jonathan Holmes leading the team in points heading into the locker room. The second half saw the Bulls punch back, but the players fighting to make the Cavaliers roster held their own against the majority of Chicago’s A team.
I know it’s preseason and stuff but the Bulls have their starters in against a D-League team and they’ve been outplayed at both ends.— Sean Highkin (@highkin) October 15, 2016
The Bulls came out of the locker playing with more intensity than they had during the first half and by the start of the fourth quarter they had a 6 point lead. The Bulls kept the pressure on in the fourth and closed out the win 118-108.
The best news tonight is obviously the resigning of Smith but Kay Felder’s continued strong play, after not playing last night, is heartening. The former Oakland University point guard is making a strong case to receive minutes when the games start to matter. The Cavs were obviously a better team when Felder was on the court and he has looked at home against NBA opponents.
The Cavaliers take the court again Tuesday at home against the Wizards.