It’s been a very trying season for the Chicago Bulls. A bad offense, internal turmoil, injuries and a lack of depth have kept the team from gaining any momentum to the upside. On the downside, they have lost 10 games in a row. This is the point in the season where team ownership and management have to start looking to the future. The best starting point is identifying which pieces fit in the future and which pieces need to be traded for pieces that will fit in the future. What is working is the play of leading scorer Zach LaVine who is averaging 22.8 PPG and shooting almost 45% from the field. What isn’t working is the acquisition of Jabari Parker, who is proving to be a disappointment wherever he goes.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a similar situation with perhaps a couple more pieces the team can use to build a future around. They come into this matchup between the league’s two worst teams, having lost 15 of its last 16 games and 6 in a row at home. They now return home after a brutal 6-game road trip that saw them go 1-5 with the lone win coming in Los Angeles against a struggling Lakers team. With PF Kevin Love out with an injury since the first week of the season, the Cavs can’t find any leadership or scoring punch on the floor. Jordan Clarkson is currently the team’s leading active scorer with 16.9 PPG. Six other players are averaging between 10 and 14 PPG.
Prediction: Yes, even a game between the league’s worst teams can present a gambling opportunity. These two teams have already met twice this season with Chicago winning the first at home 99-98 and then taking the second in Cleveland by a wide margin. In a game of attrition, let’s look for a similar result. Play Chicago (score – Chicago 105-94)