After an epic game 3 between the Cavaliers and the Bulls, including a game winning three-point shot by Derrick Rose giving his team a 2-1 series lead, the Bulls appeared to have the Cavs up against the ropes. Fast forward to game 4 where the Bulls maintained a strong tempo throughout the first three quarters, traded punches with the injury plagued Cavs, and were in a great position to win the game– all without Pau Gasol in the lineup.
But in the end, the fourth quarter proved costly as the Bulls struggled offensively and were outscored by the Cavs 25-16. In the closing seconds of the game the Bulls tied the score with a layup by Derrick Rose with only a few seconds to spare on the clock. The Cavs used up their final timeout and the game appeared to be headed to overtime.
But in another amazing turn of events, LeBron James managed to silence the capacity crowd in the United Center by performing his own version of the Derrick Rose clutch shot, but this time it wasn’t a bank-shot off the backboard– it was nothing but net as he sank a corner three-pointer as time expired on the clock.
The Cavs will head back to Cleveland in hopes of protecting home court and regaining control of this historic playoffs series. Will the Bulls steal another game in Cleveland or are the Cavs en route to winning their second straight game of the series?
Team S.U. offers their post game analysis and predicts the outcome of game 5.
Bulls vs. Cavs Game 5 Predictions:
Steve Turner (NBA Contributor): Another amazing game in the Bulls versus Cavs series. It was looking as though the Bulls were going to win going into the 4th quarter, but Cleveland managed to step up to the occasion. The Bulls offense looked atrocious and the Cavs defense was a reason it looked like that. J.R. Smith stepped up and made some huge shots, Mozgov stepped up and made some clutch moves, but LeBron James was the difference maker.
It was a bad night for LeBron and he still finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists. Also, LeBron hit a clutch game winner. Cleveland’s biggest problem is Kyrie’s injury. Although he was on the floor, it was obvious he was hurting and that caused him to struggle.
Game 5 Prediction: I believe Cleveland is going to win game 5 at home. They have the momentum they need to handle business of their home court.
Jr. Williams (NBA Editor): After the game winning bank-shot from Derrick Rose in game 3, I didn’t think this series would get any better, boy was I wrong. I think the Bulls played well without Pau Gasol, however, offensively they weren’t as polished as evident in their struggles to score during the fourth quarter. Defensively, the Bulls were superb as they held the Cavs to 86 points for the game, but if they look to stand any chance of surviving this series they need a healthy Pau Gasol in the lineup.
I’d have to agree with Steve, J.R. Smith and Timofey Mozgov paid huge dividends for the Cavs, but LeBron put the entire team on his back, and his game winning shot was the icing on the cake. The Bulls had a chance to put this game away, unfortunately, it was too little too late. All-in-all it was an amazing game.
Game 5 Predictions: The Bulls will win game 5, but only if Pau Gasol is in the lineup. Without Gasol, the Cavs will go up 3-2 in the series.