Bulls look to take advantage with LeBron out


Apr 8

By Adam Fluck

Fans coming to see Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James may be disappointed to hear that he is inactive and will not suit up against the Bulls on Thursday night.

“He's got some bumps and bruises,” said Cavaliers Head Coach Mike Brown. “We just decided to rest him.”

Whether James plays Friday in Cleveland against Indiana has yet to be determined.

“We’ll talk about it again tonight and he may take tomorrow off or he may not,” said Brown. “It will be a game-time decision.”

When asked about resting players heading into the postseason, Brown explained: “It's a fine balance. In my opinion, there is no right answer. You can do it a lot of different ways. If we go out and win, what I did was smart. If we lose, it wasn’t smart.”

For the Bulls, however, it James’ absence could open the door for them to score a much-needed win after a painful loss at home to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

“It’s a big factor,” said Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro. “But Cleveland is still very talented. Obviously they are a different team without LeBron. [Andrew] Bogut was out last game and it didn’t do us much good. We have to play well and we have to find a way to get it.

“We’ve had the tunnel vision and focus on what we need to do," added Del Negro. "I think last game [versus Milwaukee on Tuesday], we didn’t play well after the first quarter. Tonight is another opportunity to bounce back. They’re all big games. You can’t look at the big picture right now; you have to focus in on this one particular game and do whatever it takes to get a win.”

Given that Toronto’s Chris Bosh is expected to miss the remainder of the season following surgery to have a nasal fracture repaired, the Bulls will have an opportunity to catch the Raptors for the final playoff spot in the East, setting up a first-round series with the Cavs.

“We’ve had so many injuries, maybe we’re getting a break,” said Del Negro. “It comes down to taking advantage of those opportunities. I can’t worry about other teams and injuries. Believe me when I tell you I have enough things going on trying to keep track of our health and minutes.”

Audio—Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro on facing the Cavs without LeBron James and taking it one game at a time (04.08.10):

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