Friday, October 12, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Cavaliers 86, Bulls 83
By Nick Friedell
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Let's take a quick look at how the Cleveland Cavaliers earned an 86-83 win over the Chicago Bulls Friday night at Assembly Hall.
How it happened: The Bulls played terribly in the first half, but at least made it respectable in the final 24 minutes. Kirk Hinrich led the Bulls with 14 points and made several nice plays in the second half. Taj Gibson had 12 points and seven rebounds, playing the type of consistent game that Tom Thibodeau is accustomed to seeing. The Bulls fall to 1-1 in the preseason.
What it means: The best sign for Thibodeau and the Bulls is that Hinrich appears to have turned back the clock. He looks energized to be playing with the Bulls again and his play on the floor confirms it. Aside from his offense, he also played solid defensively and helped create for teammates at times. The only thing he needs to work on is conditioning. After playing the third quarter, Thibodeau decided to leave him in to start the fourth. He was exhausted when he came out for Nate Robinson a few minutes into the quarter.
The major issue for Thibodeau is that aside from Gibson, the new Bench Mob continues to find a groove. It's only the second preseason game, but Thibodeau would like to see his second unit play better.
Stat of the night: The Bulls were 1-for-18 beyond the arc.
Hits: Hinrich. Besides the 14 points, he also had eight assists, four rebounds and a steal.
Misses: Robinson did not play well. He was just 1-for-11 from the field and turned the ball over four times.
What's next: The Bulls play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.