The Chicago Bulls host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 looking to regain the lead in this thrilling Eastern Conference semi-finals clash.
Where: United Center, Chicago.
When: Saturday May 9, 01:00 (UK time)
The Bulls struck first with an impressive win in Game 1 as Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol teamed up to lead them offensively and shut out LeBron James and Co.
However, the two-time NBA champion reacted as many expected he would with a more aggressive display which resulted in a huge game for him individually, as well as picking up the win for his team.
Now the series switches to Chicago, and although the Bulls haven’t particularly done that well at home this year, they will be hoping that a raucous United Center crowd gives them that additional lift required to stop James and the Cavs building up some momentum.
It is no secret that the 30-year-old has defeated the Bulls on three separate occasions in the post-season, and more often than not he has lost the first game of the series only to strike back with real vengeance thereafter.
The Bulls must now figure out a way to prevent history from repeating itself, and they will hope that this emerging trend with Rose doesn’t continue.
The former MVP has statistically struggled after just one day’s rest in the playoffs this year, with his points average and shooting percentage both dropping significantly.
However, he insists that he isn’t worried about that or his inability to draw fouls inside the paint, although coach Tom Thibodeau was a little less understanding and believes that his point guard needs to attack harder and the calls from the officials will come.
With so many mini-battles going on in this series, it promises to continue to serve up entertainment for the fans, and Game 3 will be no different as the Bulls will be desperate to take back the advantage and protect home court.
Prediction: Bulls to win after making a quick start and locking down defensively.