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After winning two games in a row at home, the Bulls travel to nearby Cleveland tonight for a quick game before returning to Chicago for 3 more home games. This is the Bulls first game against the Cavaliers since last year’s post-season series and only their second game of the year against a Central Division opponent. The Cavaliers will be playing their second game of a back to back after losing their 5th consecutive game last night in Philadelphia 117-97.

The Bulls have to be feeling good coming off home victories against Houston and Oklahoma City. Many people thought it would take a couple weeks for Carlos Boozer to find his rhythm in the Bulls offense, but it appears to have only taken a couple of games. Boozer scored 54 points and collected 21 rebounds in the two victories. They have the potential to put together a very nice stretch thanks to a pretty favorable December schedule.

The Cavaliers, on the other hand, have fallen on very hard times. They have lost five in a row and 11 of their last 14. Even more embarrassing, they have rarely been competitive in those 11 losses, losing by an average of 17.8 points. They have also allowed more than 100 points in 10 of their last 12 games. Their schedule is a little odd in that they return home for this game after playing 3 road games in a row but then will immediately hit the road again for four more road games.

Probable Bulls Starters

G - Derrick Rose, 24.9 PPG

G – Keith Bogans, 4.6 PPG

F – Luol Deng, 18.2 PPG

F – Carlos Boozer, 17.8 PPG

C – Joakim Noah, 14.9 PPG


Probable Cavaliers Starters

G – Mo Williams, 14.7 PPG

G – Anthony Parker, 7.9 PPG

F – Joey Graham, 7.2 PPG

F – J.J Hickson, 11.3 PPG

C – Anderson Varejao, 8.3 PPG


Prediction:

Opening Line: Chicago (-6.5), Over/Under: 196.5

This game appears to feature two teams heading in opposite directions. The Bulls had their most successful circus trip since the days of Michael Jordan and have since added Carlos Boozer to the fold. Conversely, the Cleveland Cavaliers have fallen on hard times losing 5 games in a row. However, the 6.5 line is a little curious and with this being the Bulls only road game sandwiched around 5 home games I think we could see them come out a little flat and start a little slow. A return home may rejuvenate the Cavaliers a little bit.

Bulls 98 Cavaliers 95