The Chicago Bulls are set to host Cleveland Cavaliers at United Center in the third game of the eastern conference semi-finals, as the series is tied at 1-1.
After losing the first game of the series, Cavaliers came back into the series with a bang in the second game, which finished 106-91. It is such kind of performances, which has made Cavaliers one of the favourites for the NBA title this season.
If LeBron James shows the same kind of aggression, which he displayed during game 2, the Bulls are in for a long night. James came up with an amazing display of 33 points and it was the aggression he showcased on the court, which stood out.
James was not only shooting his regular jumpers, but also driving-in to score points, taking on defenders.
Kyrie Irving felt it was a dominant display by Cavs' no 23. ''There wasn't one possession where he wasn't dominant,'' AP quoted Kyrie Irving as saying. ''When he has that mindset, he's the greatest player playing our game right now.''
Posing against LeBron James was a huge challenge and even NBA's most improved player, Jimmy Butler, despite his tight defense failed to contain James. He was in such a mood that it would not have mattered who was guarding him.
"I have to man up and take the challenge," Butler told the team's official website. "LeBron was aggressive, but I wasn't aggressive enough. I was counting too much on help being there, which is on me. I will be better."
With James having outplayed Butler, the Cavs' player will be in confident mood when they take Bulls in game 3 and if Butler fails to match up to James, he is sure to demolish Bulls single-handedly. Game 2 was just a teaser.
But, it is not only James that the Bulls will have to focus on as Irving also showed his class with 21 points in game 2. Irving alongside Kevin Love and James were three players, who helped Cavs enjoy a great regular season.
The Bulls need their star players such as Butler, Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose to up their game, if they are to put up some fight against the Cavs. The Bulls are considered to have great defense, but it was missing in their last game or may be it was James, who outplayed them.
But Rose also understands that they are required to play some good defense. "I know our fans are waiting, the city's just waiting for us to come back there and it should be another exciting game," Rose said. "Hopefully we play some defense."
There is no dearth of quality players for Bulls, who can oust Cavs from the Playoffs, but they need to perform when it matters most. Butler, Gasol and Rose are three key players for the Bulls, as they average 23.4, 16.3 and 19.1 ppg respectively in 2015 Playoffs.
Where to Watch Live
The NBA Playoffs semi-finals game 3 between Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers is scheduled for 8pm ET (5:30am IST, 1am BST) start.
Viewers in the US can watch the game live on ESPN.
Indian viewers can watch it live on Sony Six.
NBA fans can also watch the Playoffs live on NBA.com