Normally, a Derrick Rose versus Kyrie Irving matchup would be a highlight for fans to be in awe of, but not last night. For the last two seasons, oddly enough, Rose and Irving have never played against one another. Prior to his ACL injury, Rose was considered one of the best, new era point guards in the league. Kyrie Irving had a breakout season last year, becoming an All-Star, he is considered one of the future leading point guards. But, Derrick isn’t quite yet back to himself even though he’s showing glimpses of his quick and acrobatic style of play. Kyrie Irving has struggled a bit this season too. So fans got the matchup, but without all the excitement that should and will eventually come with it.
For the most part, the Chicago Bulls’ defense did a great job containing Kyrie Irving. Rose did a decent job on defense while guarding the Cavaliers point guard. Andrew Bynum started the game while Anderson Varejo came off the bench. Joakim Noah struggled with Bynum due to him being a much bigger center. The Cavaliers have a very young team that will certainly improve in the near future, but could not challenge the Bulls with their matchups. All five Bulls starters scored in double figures. The scoring was pretty evenly balanced with no one scoring more than 17 points. Boozer is continuing to play well for the Bulls, especially when they get him involved early on in the game. He finished the game with 17 points, 4 assists and 7 rebounds in 34 minutes of playing time. Derrick shot just 38% from the field. He contributed 16 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists and no turnovers. He has been struggling with turning over the ball since the season started, but for the most part, he was under control last night. With 4/13 shooting, Jimmy Butler, did not have a good night, but he did add 11 points for the Bulls. Butler is very solid on defense, but is noticeably hesitant on offense. As the season goes on he’ll have to remain aggressive on offense and be timid on shooting.
The Cavaliers and Bulls both shot 41% from the field. The Bulls did out rebound the Cavaliers by a difference of 3 rebounds. The Bulls did show better ball movement with 24 team assists. Chicago has never been known to be a fantastic 3 point shooting team, but they’re really struggling from the outside this season. In this particular game, they shot just barely 25% from the outside. Overall, Chicago is struggling to find their offense cohesiveness, but the only way of gaining that, is to clearly keep playing.
During one of his acrobatic moves to the basket, Derrick Rose sped to the rim with a gorgeous lay-up late in the fourth quarter. But, as he jogged back, he was grimacing. He sat out for the rest of the game after the commercial timeout as his trainer and the doctor who did his surgery checked on him. After the game, it was confirmed that it was a “minor hamstring strain”. Rose said that he’ll most likely play on Friday against the Toronto Raptors. The Chicago Bulls beat the Cavaliers 96-81 and are 3-3 (3-0 at home).