Two of the NBA’s worst teams came together on Martin Luther King Jr. day, but it wasn’t the competitive game some of us hoped for. The Chicago Bulls have fought through injuries and turmoil and struggled mightily, but their roster is better than it’s record. The Cavs roster ... is probably in line with where their record is, particularly when Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love have been unavailable for large parts of the season.
It was all apparent this afternoon, and the Bulls built a big first quarter lead that was never seriously challenged. The Cavs put together a decent second quarter but couldn’t sustain it deep enough into the second half.
The Chicago Bulls, 104. Your Cleveland Cavaliers, 88.
Zach LaVine looked healthy and good, and Lauri Markkanen looks like he’s going to be a really helpful offensive piece as he continues to develop. It was the kind of game you’d enjoy from a team you generally are hoping to see lose and maintain lottery position.
For Cleveland? Collin Sexton wasn’t particularly good, but he got hit a few times and kept going. His tenacity never wavered, and his competitiveness is nice to see. He scored 18 points on 17 shots, and finished with 0 assists. I thought some of his reads on Saturday night’s game were pretty good, so the passing ability exists on some level. The Cavs will continue to look to nurture it.
Ante Zizic keyed the Cavs positive second quarter with his size and active hands. When the team defends, which isn’t often, he tends to be a common component. He’s fouling too much, but it’s not accident he had the best plus/minus of the starters. 13 points on seven shots is what you’re looking for, especially with the Cavs missing a real pick and roll distributing guard.
Aside from that, Cedi Osman failed to make his mark on the game, and Alec Burks looks like he wants to be anywhere but Cleveland. I think we sort of hoped Burks might rejuvenate himself with the Cavs and either build up trade value or end up being a helpful piece moving forward. That just hasn’t happened.