The Cavaliers will take on the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night for the first of four regular season matchups. Tipoff from Quicken Loans Arena is at 7:00 p.m. (ET).
After falling to the Orlando Magic last Saturday, 114-93, the Wine & Gold are eyeing a 3-1 start to the season and a 2-0 start within the Central Division. They won their first divisional game last Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Cleveland has been solid on the defensive front so far this season, holding all three opponents to a combined .438 mark from the field. They’ve also shot well from the charity stripe, shooting .841 (58-69) from the line, which ranks 6th in the NBA.
Wine & Gold fans may also bare witness to a little bit of Cavs history on Tuesday night. With an appearance against the Bulls, LeBron James (770 GP) will tie Zydrunas Ilgauskas (771 GP) for the most regular season games played in Cavaliers history.
As LBJ gets set to walk on the floor to tie history, he will be joined by a slightly different look in the starting unit as J.R. Smith replaces Dwyane Wade at two-guard. Upon Wade’s request, the 14-year vet bolsters the bench and will take a bigger role in handling the basketball for the second unit.
Wade and the rest of the Cavaliers will face off against a Bulls team still searching for its first win of the regular season. Both squads did have the benefit of sizing each other up two weeks ago in a preseason game.
Despite Chicago’s rough start, the Bulls have seen some exceptional play from rookie Lauri Markkanen. The Finnish-born forward is averaging 15 points per game, dropping 17 in his first-ever NBA appearance. Center Robin Lopez has also stood out for the Bulls. Lopez is currently averaging 17 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 2.5 apg.
Where to Catch the Action
TV: FOX Sports Ohio, NBATV
Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega
Programming Note: On Tuesday, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Cavs – Bulls game (7:00 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets – Kings game (7:00 p.m.). To view TV listings, CLICK HERE.–>
For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.
Probable Starters/Status Update*
#81 – Jose Calderon
#5 – JR Smith
#99 – Jae Crowder
#23 – LeBron James
#0 – Kevin Love
#2 – Jerian Grant
#7 – Justin Holiday
#16 Paul Zipser
#24 – Lauri Markkanen
#42 – Robin Lopez
WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 FM La Mega
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Status Update: (Cavs) – Isaiah Thomas, (Right hip, Out), Derrick Rose, (Left ankle sprain, Out)
Status Update: (Bulls) – Kris Dunn, (Left index finger dislocation, Out), Nikola Mirotic, (Concussion and maxillary fractures, Out), Zach LaVine, (Left ACL, Out), Cameron Payne, (Right foot, Out), Bobby Portis, (Suspension, Out)
*Subject to change.
After dropping each of their four meetings with the Bulls last season, the Cavs will aim for a better performance this time around.
History does show that Cleveland usually has the upper hand against Chicago when playing at Quicken Loans Arena. In fact, the Wine & Gold are 26-19 at The Q when the Bulls travel to The Land.
As mentioned, both teams got the opportunity to play against one another in the preseason with Chicago coming out on top 108-94. In that exhibition matchup, LBJ dropped 17 points as well as three dimes and five rebounds in limited action. Tristan Thompson posted nine points and 11 boards.
The Cavaliers’ matchup with the Bulls will be their first of four regular season meetings. The Central Division rivals will meet one more time in Cleveland (12/21) and twice in Chicago (12/4 & 3/17).
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After Tuesday’s matchup, the Cavs hit the road to square off against the Brooklyn Nets (10/25), followed by their first Western Conference opponent of the season (at New Orleans, 10/28).
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