(1) Cleveland Cavaliers (61-21) vs. (8) Chicago Bulls (41-41)
Series schedule: Game 1 – Today at Cleveland 3 p.m. ET (ABC); Game 2 – Monday at Cleveland 8 p.m. ET (TNT); Game 3 -Thursday 4/22 at Chicago 7 p.m. ET (TNT); Game 4 – Sunday 4/25 at Chicago 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC); Game 5 – Tuesday 4/27 * at Cleveland TBD; Game 6 – Thursday 4/29 * at Chicago TBD; Game 7 – Saturday 5/1 * at Cleveland TBD. * – If necessary.
Series keys: For Cleveland: 1. Establish inside game (Bulls are small on the inside). 2. Get the rust of LeBron (James hasn’t played in the last four games). Slow down Derrick Rose. For Chicago: 1. Play with an attitude (Eight seeds must have chip on shoulder). 2. Attack with penetration (Must get Cleveland bigs – Shaquille O’Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas – in trouble). 3. Run and gun (Play uptempo game to wear down Cleveland’s bigs).
Series outcome: Cavaliers will win the series in five games, but if the Bulls can extend the series to six games, it will go seven.
1. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are on a collision course to meet in the NBA finals – Washington Post
2. Noah has no hard feelings for LeBron – ESPNChicago.com
3. Even with James, Cavs fans fear the worst – Chicago Tribune