Match-Up: Derrick Rose (PTS+REB+AST) vs. LeBron James (PTS)

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Saturday afternoon is Game 1 of the Bulls/Cavaliers first round match-up. The two teams split their season series with each team winning two games. Today’s match-up is an extremely interesting prop. Basically, do I think LeBron James will out-score Derrick Rose’s entire game production? Let’s look into the numbers.

LeBron James has averaged 29.7 points per game this season. With the Eastern Conference’s first-seed in hand, James was not needed and did not play in the Cavs final four regular season games (team went 0-4 without him). In three games against the Bulls this season, James has averaged 25.7 points per game.

Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has been on a tear for the surging Bulls. The Bulls have won four out of their final five games to make the playoffs ahead of the Toronto Raptors. In those five games, Rose averaged 28.2 points, six assists, and four rebounds per contest while shooting 56% from the field. Rose broke out for 39 points against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. In three games against the Cavs this season, Rose has averaged 17 points, nine assists, and two rebounds per game.

If I based my pick solely on season averages, it would be a straight pick-em. On the season, Rose averaged 20.8 points, six assists, and three boards per game. So who will produce a higher out-put?

I’m going against the grain and picking Rose. Rose has been on absolute tear while James has been sitting on the bench. If any player can immediately turn it on, it’s James. I’ll never doubt LeBron, but going up against one of the league’s better point guards in a three category assault will probably be too great to overcome. Rose has had an average output of 38.4 over his last five. For the Bulls to have any shot at beating the Cavs, Rose will have to go off. Look for his three stat categories to out-weigh LeBron’s point total on Saturday.

The Pick: Derrick Rose(PTS+REB+AST)

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