The Chicago Bulls close out the month of February with two games at home. After spending basically the entire month on the road – and getting handily thrashed by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday – playing in the United Center for a few games should come as a welcome reprieve.
On Tuesday, Chicago hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers but unfortunately, their dynamic young point guard, Kyrie Irving, will not play. Irving, who has never taken the floor at the United Center, was scratched from Tuesday night's lineup with a knee injury.
The second year point guard is having a fantastic season and became the hottest topic in the NBA after his recent showing during All-Star weekend.
Kyrie played superbly in the Rising Stars Challenge – embarrassing Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight in the process – won the three-point shootout and had a solid outing in his first ever All-Star Game. Irving followed that up with a brilliant performance against the New Orleans Hornets in his first game after the break, dropping 35 points, including 20 in the fourth quarter.
The Bulls would've had their hands full defending Irving at the guard spot with the injured Kirk Hinrich possibly being a no-go, leaving just Nate Robinson and Marquis Teague the unenviable task of trying to shut down Kyrie.
Irving is currently sixth in the league in scoring at 23.3 points per game. In the Cavs last nine wins Irving is averaging 30.2 points per game. But in Cleveland’s last nine losses, the point guard is averaging 16.1 points per and shooting just 36 percent from the field.
Kyrie also hasn’t had very much success against the Bulls this season. In their previous two meetings he shot a combined 10-26 (39 percent) from the field against Chicago. It’s worth noting that those two games came in December and Irving, obviously, has gotten much better since then and has seemed to develop the uncanny ability to beat teams by himself.
So if you wanted to see a potentially great individual performance from an opposing player on Tuesday night, unfortunately, you'll just have to wait until the next NBA superstar rolls into town.
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