The Chicago Bulls missed a huge opportunity last time out to take a 3-1 series lead, instead LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers host them at 2-2.
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland.
When: Wednesday May 13, 00:00 (UK time)
The Bulls had a chance to take a commanding lead on Sunday, but as has been their Achilles heel all season, they were unable to put the Cavs away.
Despite fighting back to tie the game with 1.5 seconds remaining, James stepped up and delivered the blow to beat the buzzer and swing the momentum back in the Cavs’ favour ahead of Game 5 on Tuesday night.
With the 30-year-old rolling his ankle, Kyrie Irving limping around with a foot strain and knee tendinitis and both JR Smith and Iman Shumpert showing signs of niggles too, the Cavs were banged up and ready to be beaten.
However, Chicago were not able to take advantage as they suffered their own problems too with Pau Gasol still a doubt for Tuesday as he continues to struggle with a hamstring strain.
Nevertheless, this series has produced its fair share of epic moments already along with thrilling individual battles, and the message from the Chicago camp, much like it was for Cleveland after Derrick Rose’s game-winner, is the loss is in the past and it is time to focus on the next one.
That next game is a daunting prospect though as they return to Cleveland looking to repeat the trick of Game 1, and the visitors will be buoyed by Rose’s play in this series.
Another 30+ points display would have done wonders for the confidence of the former MVP, as he continues to grow in confidence in attacking the basket and taking on the Cavs big men inside the paint to draw contact and fouls.
Jimmy Butler remains a threat too, but it will be down to Joakim Noah to set the tone in the front court along with Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic in order to keep the Bulls in the game.
Prediction: If the Bulls are going to strike, it has to be now. Lose this and the pressure of an elimination game at home could be the end of them. As a result, don’t be surprised if the momentum swings again in their favour on Tuesday night with a closely-fought win.