The Cleveland Cavaliers never captured a lead in Game 1's 99-92 loss to the Bulls on Monday. They tied it up twice — at 51 and 53 in the third quarter — but the Bulls pulled away both times.
LeBron James believes the Cavs are a "resilient" team, but admits he gets bothered when the Cavs make their push when trailing.
"It's not all the time, but that's what happened last night (in Game 1)," James said. "We waited til we got down until we sought to make a push. We gotta have a little better sense of urgency in Game 2."
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Game 2 on Wednesday won't come easy for the Bulls. If history repeats itself, James will perform much better than he did in Game 1.
James has averaged 20.5 points while shooting 42 percent from the field in four career Game 1's against the Bulls. But in three Game 2's, he's averaged 29.3 points, shooting 62.5 percent.
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And the Cavs are going to need that James to avoid heading back to Chicago down two games.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity for us to get out there with a game that we must have. You can't go down 0-2 on your home floor going on the road," James said. "It's going to be a tough challenge — just like it was last night, but I think we prepared the best way we could today. We'll prepare again tomorrow (at) morning shootaround and we have a much better game."
On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, the Bulls Outsiders team of Matt Peck, David Watson, and John Sabine join Kevin Anderson to talk about the series premier of ‘Bulls Outsiders’ Thursday night. Hear about how the show came together and what they are hoping to bring to the Bulls fanbase this season. They’ll also share their bold predictions for the season including two potential end-of-season award winners from this roster.
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
We all know what Zach LaVine is capable of doing on the offensive side of things. But what about his defense?
It's no secret that LaVine has had his fair share of struggles on defense, but Kris Dunn thinks highly of his 23-year-old teammate and what his potential is at the other end.
"On the defensive end I just told him, 'You're as fast as me. You're more athletic than me. There's no way you shouldn't be a good defender in this league. You could be one of those guys who could be dynamic in the passing lanes because you're so athletic and fast.'" Dunn said of LaVine. "And personally, I like to score. If you get in a passing lane, that's a dunk for yourself and because you've got so much bounce that's when you get the crowd on their feet — maybe do a windmill, a 360, something.
"But I think he's been going a good job on the defensive end. It's not going to be easy. We all got to learn and I think we're all trying."
Improving his defense would obviously be a big step forward for LaVine (and the Bulls), and he knows it.
“I think I had a lot better focus on the defensive end,” LaVine said when assessing his preseason. “I had some mistakes too, but I wanted to go out there and just really hone in on being more focused down there. I felt like I did OK with that. Still some areas I want to get better at, definitely off-the-ball I think I did a lot better than I had before.’’
LaVine and the Bulls travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Thursday night in their season opener. You can watch Bulls Pre- and Postgame Live on NBC Sports Chicago before and after the game for highlights and analysis.