Cavs Top 3: Lauri Markkanen shows up but Cavs still fall

Cavs (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Cavs (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t hold off Bulls despite Lauri Markkanen’s big game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, dropping them to 27-19 and giving the Bulls a bit more breathing room in the race for the division. Lauri Markkanen returned to the city where he spent his first four years playing pro ball and had a massive showing.

Despite Markkanen’s big game, the Cavs couldn’t hold off the Bulls, who surged back in the second quarter and kept the Cavaliers at bay for the rest of the night. Cedi Osman has gone cold in January, averaging just 8.3 points per game on 36% shooting from the floor and 23% shooting from three. He’s 0-12 in his last three games.

Those types of slumps are going to hinder the Cavs, and without some steady playmakers off the bench to help take the pressure off of Osman when he slumps, the team is going to struggle to score points when the starting five leave the court.

Jarrett Allen also had a very pedestrian game as well, putting up just six points. The Bulls have developed a nasty habit of invading the paint against the Cavs, and that’s a problem because it’s very likely these two teams meet in the playoffs at this rate.

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Lauri Markkanen shows up but the Cleveland Cavaliers fail to hold on

Cavs Top 3

  1. Evan Mobley
  2. Darius Garland
  3. Lauri Markkanen

The first point of the game goes to Evan Mobley, who had had 18 points and five rebounds, and while not huge numbers, he was the only player on the Cavaliers to post a positive box +/- of +5. His defense is invaluable and even the Bulls really took it to the Cavs, his growth and development will really help them as the season continues.

For the two-pointer, we’re going with Darius Garland, who ironically enough can only hit two-pointers lately. Garland’s only shooting 31% from three this month and is shooting just 25% from three going back the last six games. Garland’s shooting has to improve if the Cavs are going to fend off the Bulls in the regular season to win the division.

The three-pointer of the game goes to Lauri Markkanen, who was drafted by the Timberwolves but played his first four years as a member of the Bulls. So his return to the city of Chicago couldn’t have gone any better personally. He had 28 points, seven rebounds, and shot very efficiently with splits of .642/.555/.833. If you can’t get a win over the division winners, sometimes just making the team pay that gave up on you can be enough for a night.

Yearly Standing:

  1. Darius Garland (50 points)
  2. Jarrett Allen (48 points)
  3. Kevin Love (38)
  4. (*Tie*) Lauri Markkanen/ Ricky Rubio (32points)
  5. (Tie*) Evan Mobley Cedi Osman (25 points)
  6. Isaac Okoro (6 points)
  7. Dean Wade (5 Points)
  8. Lamar Stevens (4 points)
  9. Rajon Rondo (3 points)
  10. Dylan Windler (1 point)

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