The Chicago Bulls took a 1-0 lead in their second round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers last night, stealing home court advantage and setting up something close to a must-win game for the Cavs in Game 2.
At the heart of the Cavs’ loss was a lackadaisical, curiously careless performance from their leader LeBron James.
James put up 19 points on 9-for-22 shooting with six turnovers – his lowest output since a 2-for-10 night in Game 5 of last year’s Conference Finals. He appeared to lack focus and a sense of urgency.
The Chicago Bulls traded Luol Deng last night for a soon-to-be-waived Andrew Bynum and some maybe somewhat useful draft picks.
That Deng, whose contract expires this summer, is being given up for salary cap relief and second rounders is a reflection of the NBA’s financial realities and Chicago’s new long-term direction rather than his value as a player and accomplishments as a Bull. Let us appreciate that value and those accomplishments here as we celebrate the finest player to ever come out of Great Britain (and Sudan).