New lineup, new rotations, it was a rough start for the Cavaliers but they bounced back in the second half en route to a 119-112 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Lebron James led the way for Cleveland with 34 points, 13 assists and 3 steals.
The Cavaliers made some changes to the starting lineup following Saturday’s blowout loss to the Orlando Magic. Tristan Thompson and JR Smith returned to the starting lineup as Dwyane Wade moved to the bench in a move he went to head coach Ty Lue as he felt as it was best for the team.
After trailing 38-28 after the first quarter, the D-Wade led second unit brought some energy and got the Cavs back into the ball game. The group of Wade, Channing Frye, Jeff Green, Iman Shumpert and Kyle Korver scored 30 in the first half to close the deficit to three points at halftime.
It didn’t help that the Cavaliers didn’t give a great effort defensively, especially in the first half as Chicago put up 68 in the first half when they scored just 77 in their previous game against San Antonio. They also struggled defending the three point shot with Chicago shooting 17-33 (51.5%) from long distance.
Cleveland picked it up defensively in the second half as well as offensively, outscoring Chicago 54-44.
Kevin Love scored 20 points and grabbed 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Jeff Green led the scoring off the bench with 16 points. Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder and Kyle Korver each added 11 points.
For the Bulls who have the youngest team in the NBA in what is the beginning of a rebuild, their young pieces for the future showed something against the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions.
Justin Holiday led the way with 25 points. Rookie forward Lauri Markkanen scored 19 and grabbed 8 rebounds. Jerami Grant added 12 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds.
Former Cavalier Kay Felder provided a spark for the Bulls off the bench with 13 points and 4 assists as he tries to find a solid home for his NBA career.
I’m sure there’s some fans out there wondering about the Cavs effort the last couple games but remember it’s late October. It’s not going to be pretty every game, there’s a lot of new faces on this roster and it’s going to take time for the chemistry to gel.
Not to mention this team isn’t at full strength as we wait for the return of Isaiah Thomas and once he’s back, the chemistry is going to need to gel again.
The Cavaliers return to action Wednesday night as they travel to Brooklyn to face the Nets who are off to a 2-1 start this season. It’s very early in the season but they’ve given up 121.7 points per game so expect a high scoring night for the Wine and Gold.