An almost completely different team showed up in Cavaliers uniforms Sunday afternoon at the United Center.
I say almost because for the fist 19 minutes of the game, the lackadaisical unit the lost Game 3 appeared to be out on the floor. No energy. Allowing the Bulls to stay in the game and gain some confidence - as if they didn't have enough coming out of their Game 3 loss.
‘’After Game 3 we were very frustrated. We put ourselves in a difficult position. We did a nice job of making it close at the end,’’ Antawn Jamison said ‘’We could not afford to let a team like this gain momentum and confidence.’’
What did they do? First of all, offensively, they were locked in. They moved the ball to get good looks, and when they got thsoe looks they drained shots - to the tune of 53 percent on the night. The Cavs had five players in double figures with LeBron James leading the way with 37. But Antawn Jamison came up an impressive 24 points as well.
For a while the two of them had a nice game going on between the two of them as they worked to victimize Luol Deng.
But the primary difference came on defense as the Cavs accomplished something in this game that the didn't in the last. The clamped down on Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich. In that last game those two combined for 58 points. This time around they accounted for 31 total.
The Cavs did their best job on Rose to date. While guard Anthony Parker stayed on him a lot of the time he was on the court, he saw a number of bodies and faces throughout the game. The end result was that he took a host of bad shots from the outside and couldn't work his way into the inside. Overall, he shot 9-of-20 from the floor on the night.
‘’They were just playing great defense, making us shoot contested shots and getting out and running. That’s usually what we do,’’ Rose said. ‘’They were switching up on people and putting a lot of people on me as a team. If anything they just out hustled us tonight.’’