CLEVELAND - APRIL 17: Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls is blocked out by Shaquille O'Neal #33 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
3 Total Updates since April 17, 2010
about 3 years ago Update 3 comments
Everyone knows that the Cleveland Cavaliers possess far more talent than the Chicago Bulls, and on Saturday, this is plainly apparent. There is, though, a difference between, "it looks like this team will win this series," and, "this team will win this series." Especially when you're halfway through Game 1 of a seven-game series.
Just as the third quarter started, ESPN's Mark Jackson remarked:
The Cavs are gonna win this series. That's not the question.
From a business standpoint, that isn't good promotion. My point, though, is that it's... impolite. It's like the time your grandparents came to visit for your tenth birthday. You unwrap their present and find that it's a video game you already have. You smile, thank them, and figure you can probably have it exchanged or something. Then your brother pipes up. "HE ALREADY HAS THAT GAME. WHY DID YOU GET HIM THAT GAME? HE ALREADY HAS IT." Guh! Shut up!
about 3 years ago Update 1 comment
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - LeBron James scored 24 points and got plenty of help in a well-rounded opening performance, as the Cleveland Cavaliers began their quest for an NBA Championship with a 96-83 win over Chicago in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
James added six rebounds, five assists and four blocks and was buoyed by double-double outings from Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison. Williams scored 19 points and handed out 10 assists, while Jamison grabbed 10 boards and recorded 15 points.
Shaquille O'Neal checked in with a dozen points and Anderson Varejao posted a game-high 15 rebounds and added eight points for the Cavs, who were the NBA's best team during the regular season at 61-21. Cleveland was even better at home, going 35-6 at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavs had the league's best record entering last year's playoffs as well, but tasted bitter defeat in a six-game series loss to Orlando in the conference finals.
Derrick Rose had 28 points and 10 assists but accounted for seven turnovers. Luol Deng made just 5-of-15 attempts from the field to finish behind Rose with 12 points for the eighth-seeded Bulls, who ended the regular season on a three-game winning streak to narrowly beat out Toronto for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
As a seven seed last year, Chicago took the then-defending champion Celtics to a Game 7 in the first round before falling.
about 3 years ago Update 0 comments
Our Bulls blog, Blog a Bull, has looked at the stats. After taking into account metrics such as pace and efficiency, here's the verdict: unsurprisingly, the Cavs take this series, and they'll do so in five games.
This is the thing about facing the best team in the league. They can be good at both offense and defense, a concept us fans in mediocrity-land don't believe is possible.
And the Bulls offense is awful, and not even a single factor is even above-average, not even our once-great offensive rebounding. This is where we hope Joakim Noah is peaking and about to have the series of his life, but the Cavs' size may make even that version of Noah's time difficult getting extra possessions.
Be sure to check out the rest of the post at Blog A Bull.
about 3 years ago Update 0 comments
At 3:00 Eastern on ABC, the NBA's second season will officially be underway. It goes without saying that the Cavs are the favorites, as the Bulls snuck into the playoffs in the final days of the season. A Bulls win in Game 1, if nothing else, would inspire unrest in a Cleveland fan base that desperately wants to see the Cavs win a championship this year.
Preview courtesy of Sports Network.
The NBA's best team during the regular season will begin its chase for the Larry O'Brien Trophy this afternoon when the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals set.
The Cavaliers resume is very impressive. Cleveland was an NBA-best 61-21 despite shutting things down a week early, and also compiled the top home record at 35-6 as well as the second best road mark (26-15).
In the process, the Cavs became the first team since the Chicago Bulls of 1995-96 and 1996-97, and only the fifth team in the last 19 seasons to finish with sole possession of the NBA's best regular season mark in consecutive years. Cleveland also became only the ninth different franchise in NBA history to have back-to-back 60 win seasons.
Records and little things like division or conference championships now mean very little to a Cavaliers club obsessed with the NBA championship, however. Anything less than an NBA title will mean the season has been a failure in Cleveland.
"We got through it," Cleveland head coach Mike Brown said after the team's regular season finale. "Everyone's healthy. Now we can look forward to the playoffs. We know who we're going to play and I think our players understand what's at stake here and they'll be ready."
The Cavs kick off their quest against an eighth-seeded Bulls club that has, in essence, been playing playoff basketball for the last two weeks.
While Cleveland was resting players like James, Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison and dropping four straight games to end the regular season, Chicago was fighting for its postseason life, winning its final three games to vault over Toronto and sneak into the postseason despite a pedestrian .500 record (41-41) and some significant turmoil in the front office.
Bulls general manager Gar Forman recently acknowledged a confrontation between head coach Vinny Del Negro and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson back in March.
While not identifying Paxson by name, Forman said the disagreement was "the result of each expressing their passion about the health and well being of their players and the desire to win basketball games."
Paxson reportedly shoved Del Negro twice in the chest and had to be restrained in a post-game confrontation after a loss to Phoenix on March 30. The argument stemmed from Del Negro breaching a management-imposed limit on the minutes of young center Joakim Noah, who was struggling with an injured left foot.
Chicago and Cleveland split a four-game regular season series this year but the last Bulls win came when the Cavs had shut it down and were resting James.
Since the NBA changed its playoff format in 1984, there have only been three occasions when a No. 8 seed has shocked a No. 1 and its only happened once in the Eastern Conference when Miami stunned New York in a five-game set back in 1999. The last time an eight topped a No. 1 was in 2007 when Golden State upended Dallas in 2007.
"My team will sacrifice everything they've got in order to make it to this stage," Noah said. "We're going to try to shock the world."
These two Central Division rivals were regular postseason opponents during the Michael Jordan-era with the Bulls taking five straight series between 1987-88 and 1993-94.
The Cavs, meanwhile, swept Detroit and Atlanta in last year's playoffs before falling in six games to the Orlando Magic in the East finals.