The Chicago Bulls put up another valiant effort, unfortunately LeBron James and Co. were simply too much to handle as the Cavs maintained the lead throughout the entire game en route to winning their second game in a row. Jimmy Butler lead all scorers for Chicago with 29 points while teammate Derrick Rose offered 16 points but struggled offensively after shooting 7-24 from the field.
The Bulls made a late surge, but their attempts were thwarted in the late minutes of the fourth quarter by LeBron James as he blocked a layup attempt by Derrick Rose which would have closed the game to within a single point. James lead all scorers with 38 points, Kyrie Irving was the teams second highest scorer with 25 points, and Iman Shumpert offered 13 off the bench.
The Cavs will head back to Chicago with a chance to close out the series 4-2. The Bulls have one last shot to extend their post season in a must win game at home.
Team S.U. recaps game 5 and predicts the outcome of game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
FINAL SCORE: CLE 106 – CHI 101
Bulls vs. Cavs Game 6 Predictions:
Sauping R. Arguello (NBA Contributor): The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Chicago Bulls 106 -101 in what was a highly physical, entertaining game 5. LeBron James started the game (and continued) in attack mode despite his severe ankle sprain. He finished the game with 38 pts, 12 reb and 6 ast. The Bulls got as close as one point in the third but the Cavs expanded on that lead going up nine at the end of the quarter. Chicago made another run in the fourth getting as close as two with under a minute left but Jimmy Butler (29 pts) missed a three that would have given them the lead.
Taj Gibson was ejected from the game after being tangled up with Matthew Dellavedova under the basket and seemingly kicking him while he was down, literally. The replay showed Dellavedova performing a leg lock on Gibson causing Gibson’s reaction.
Pau Gasol was sorely missed as the Bulls went through scoring droughts and were out rebounded 41-40. My guess is that Gasol will play game 6. Kyrie Irving rebounded from a mediocre game 4, scoring 25 points playing through the bad ankle. Derrick Rose was holding and squeezing his right wrist throughout the second half after a minor collision. It seemed to really have affected his shooting as he finished 7-24 from the field.
The injuries have piled up for both teams as the physicality of this series is slightly reminiscent to that of the 80s and 90s eras. Despite The Cavs having all momentum, I believe the Bulls will regroup and take game 6, tieing the series in their home court. This series had seven games written all over it and it will go down to the last minute of game 7.
Game 6 Prediction : Bulls 102 Cavs 96
Keith Rivas (Editor): Chicago is going to pull through and prove a reliable playoff franchise in Game 6 against the Cavs.
Sure, the Bulls were not on their A-Game tonight but that’s why we have seven game series — I mean, if it were best of three then the Cavs would have been eliminated.
My point? Things are just a matter of perspective.
Prediction: Bulls 97, Cavs 95
Steve Turner (NBA Contributor): The Cavs and Bulls series has been living up to all the hype. Game 5 was a really great game. Both teams are going through injuries, but the Cavs are still making the best of the situation. With Pau Gasol out for the Bulls, their offense just isn’t the same.
Cleveland is in the position they need to be in. They’re in Chicago for game 6, and despite having injured players, they’re still playing good. Kyrie Irving and LeBron James both aren’t 100 percent healthy, but they’re still providing a lot for the Cavs.
LeBron had an amazing game and he wasn’t at his best. I believe Cleveland is going to finish this up in game 6. They have the momentum and the Bulls just look sloppy.
Game 6 Prediction: I would love to see this series go to game 7, but I think the Cavs are going to take it.
Jr. Williams (NBA Editor): Let me reiterate that without Pau Gasol in the lineup, the Bulls can hang it up and prepare for a long off-season, nonetheless I am impressed with their ability to keep the Cavs on their heels over the last two games. Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose have been the only scoring options for the Bulls, Joakim Noah has been an offensive liability, and I’m still waiting for their defense to limit LeBron James from scoring in such a high volume.
If the Bulls can keep James to under 25 points, then they have a chance, but it seems they have ran short on defenders who can stop him from having his way near the basket where he has been the most effective.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that Gasol is the key– that’s why the Bulls signed him in the off-season. If you’re a Bulls fan you should be hoping and praying for the return of Gasol in game 6.
Game 6 Prediction: I think the Bulls will squeeze out a game 6 win. Final score 108 – 95