Bulls vs Heat 7:30 on TNT - The swing game?

The Chicago Bulls square off against the Miami Heat in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals.   So far, everyone has discussed what a long and tough series this is going to be, but like every series, the team facing an 0-1 deficit is in dire straights entering game two.

If Chicago pulls off the win, Miami's odds of coming back in the series are quite long.   If Miami pulls off the win, then they had back home with home court advantage in a five game series and gain a slight edge over Chicago.

LeBron making excuses?  emulating Jordan? am I hypercritical?

He told reporters that he's been fighting a cold for three days, and he's taking every medication they sell at 7-11.  First, you might want to make it out to a pharmacy rather than 7-11 buddy.   Second, this isn't the type of thing that players typically discuss when they've not missed any practice or game time.

So is LeBron setting up excuses for a poor performance or trying to create his own flu game legacy?   Of course the actual response is likely that he just feels lousy and made the mistake of telling a reporter so that people like me get to rip on him for something that could happen to anyone.

Who steps up?

Dwyane Wade and LeBron probably want to score a whole lot more, and they will be successful in that effort.  The key for Chicago is that when they combine for 50 that they require 55 shots to do it.  

It's hard for me to imagine any outcome in this game other than LeBron and Wade ISOing the crap out of the game and forcing up shots galore and attempting to get to the free throw line as much as possible.

As such, the same defense used in game one should be more than sufficient in game two.   The Bulls won't need to make many adjustments because they already over-committed to LeBron/Wade the first time around and let the rest of the cast beat them up.

We'll see if the dynamic duo can top the 59% FG% of the rest of the non garbage time cast to actually make this more isolation thing work.

The glass vs the break

The Bulls did an amazing job of hitting the offensive glass while still denying the fast break opportunities for Miami.  Miami wants to improve in both areas, but bringing more guys in to rebound likely means less leaking out on the break and leaking out on the break means dicier rebounding.

It was truly tremendous that Chicago managed to excel in both areas so well.  One of the keys was not making turnovers to initiate the Miami fast break attack.  The Bulls will rely on great ball control again in order to play so effectively.

Here's a dirty secret, the Bulls offense sucked last game

Miami played tremendous defense at the point of attack in game one.  The Bulls were held to under 40% from the field on their initial shot attempts.   The Bulls won the game primarily behind three point shooting that came off of offensive rebounds as well as the tip ins.  If Chicago had a reasonable amount of offensive boards (say 12) rather than 19, the Heat very well may have won the game.

The corollary to this is that the Bulls defense wasn't all that great either.   Miami shot 47% from the field, and the Bulls probably don't win too often while allowing that high of a FG%.

The Bulls won the game (in blow out fashion) due to offensive rebounding and ball control.   Those two things propped up their offense while limiting their opponents offense.   It's going to be difficult to hit on those areas with the same efficiency in game two.

Bring the energy, bring the effort, make them cry

Wade and LeBron looked completely full of quit mid way through the fourth quarter even when they weren't being beat down by an insurmountable lead.  There were points where Chicago was up by around 10-13 points, and the Heat still looked defeated.

The Heat can score in bunches in a hurry and should like it's quite possible to overcome a double digit lead if they get on a run, but their body language said otherwise.

As such, I think it's still fair to wonder about the mental toughness with this group.   As noted, whenever they've hit a pocket of adversity, it's typically resulted in losses in bunches.   This isn't a team that's been able to turn things around quickly when they've had problems.

Finish them!

If the Bulls win tonight, it won't mean the series, but they will be standing around like a vanquished Mortal Kombat foe wobbling back and forth waiting for you to rip out the heart or lop off the head.

Teams rarely come back from down 0-2, and the Bulls are the type of team that's very unlikely to fall apart given their mental toughness and make up.

I think the Bulls see a tremendous effort from Miami tonight, I think they'll struggle to win this game.  However, if they do, things look awfully good for Chicago going forward.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

Comments

Leave a comment
  • YEa, i dont have much hope for this game Doug. I keep saying we will win and making jokes but the truth is this game was really close most of the way. Can we blow it out of the water? No. Can we win. Maybe. I think it will take an extremly good defensive effort to stop Lebron and Wade again but in my heart, I think we have a 35% chance of winning.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    We win this game, we have a 90% chance of winning the series. We lose this game, we're 50/50, so that's not so bad ;)

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    If the bulls win tonight's game, they will win the series. In this case bulls would be 2-0, if heat want to win the series, they will have to take 4 games streak (which is impossible) or force game 7(but they can'T be us in game 7 at home).

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Ya but like you said our offense or defense wasnt that good last game so i look for us to step it up this game!

    Thibs knows why we won and I know he wasnt happy with the defensive effort or the offense

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Is there anytime in Chicago Sports history that a Chicago team is so widely supported by national fans/media except for ESPN media(who obviously want the Heat to win to prolong their jobs like in Heat Index)?
    I think the key is the referees on how they call. I think Boozer is one of those guys whose game suffers from even a couple of fouls. The other key are the bench players for the Bulls. If the Bench players give some points(Korver, Watson, Brewer, Gibson)...maybe 20/25 points...
    Rose needs to have his usual game and if the Bulls win by 10 points, the Heat are done mentally. If it is a close game, they will have some life.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    And I dont think they are going to become better rebounders than us our team is set up to beat the heat

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I agree!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Here's what I know as it relates to Miami's Bigs. You cna't change from being old to being younger. Can change from sucking 99.5% of the time and being markedly better. You cannot expect Z and Dampier to come off of the incative list and change a series. They were on the inactive list for a reason. They Suck...Chicago, Miami has a problem. They beat an old weak up front Boston team that had TWO old and injured O'Neals, a very slow Krstic, an up and down KG and no Perkins. They celebrate like the NBA playoffs were changed for them the crowned champs when they beat Boston. They got a RUDE Awakening. They believe that they are the bully on the block. Truth be told. They are a V8 engine running on 3 cylinders. Believe me. Thibs understand that if Perkins doesn't get hurt in game 7 last year against the Lakers he would have 2 rings. Plus he's been waiting for over 20 years to get his shot and he will not allow Wade nor LeBron to take this chance away from him. If miami loses this game, look for the two of the biggest egos in the game to start to crack from the pressure. I believe the Bulls have been waiting for this matchup. The Heat can't beat the Bulls on the glass. Four games have proven this. The Heat do not have a reliable offense that will get them shots. DRose didn't even play his usual attack style himself. ALl of the pressure is on Miami.. BULLS BY 12 or MORE!!!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Amazing! this guy Queen LeChoke really bugs me... what a doodoo! That is why DRose is the best of the best all around, the humility, attitude, personality etc... is top notch compared to this Queenie. I remember DRose shooting badly after a bad ankle sprain (Indiana vs. Bulls) and it was obvious it bothered him but he gave no excuses at all. The next day he was on a bootshoe limping and was interviewed the following day and said he is fine and should not bother him in game time. AND HERE'S THIS Queen setting a stage that he has a cold, what a poor loser cry baby! Truth or Not I won't even say that cuz I am determined to WIN! BUT... OH well I can't take it no more, it is never ending DRAMA for this Heat team. I bet Joakim is just shaking his head on this one, WE WILL BEAT THEM ON GAME 2!!!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    fouls on James,Bosh and Anthony.. would love to see Rose attack and get one of them in foul trouble

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Bogans looking good. 1.7% tattoo is a definitely a possibility.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Somebody hit a shot, please.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    2-15 start but SEVEN Offensive Boards.

    WOW

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    holy shit!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Everything's coming up Milhouse for Deng!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    DAGGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Up seven after an "everything goes wrong" quarter? I'll take it!

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Miami look all at sea. Having to use 11 players in the qtr and their body language is so poor. Lets hope it continues

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    shoot like shit and miss fts and still on pace for 104pts

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    there goes those B S call I talked about earlier against the Bulls

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Officials obviously got their orders from the league office at the break.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Someone got the memo. Damn zebra's...

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    this looks like a pick up game at a health club somewhere

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    New Bulls theme song for playoff/championship run!

    re-post this and share with your friends supporting the BULLS!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brhFTbKn71E

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Ok if they can up their shooting to BAD instead of GOD AWFUL they should be in good shape

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    UGLY UGLY half of basketball

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    20 - 20 rebounding WTF after that start, we need the bigs to pick it up

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    UGLY UGLY half of basketball

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    The Bulls have won all four games this season against the Heat (regular season and postseason) despite not leading at the half in any of them. Chicago has outscored Miami by an average of 13 points in the second half in the four games.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Horrid 1st half. No passion (yet) from any Bull. Hopefully conserving the emotional energy for the 3rd qtr push. One of the Bulls needs to go off offensively

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Rose is off today again. Too many turnovers and ISO by Rose. The Bogans "Hydra" striking back again

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Everyone is off. No one can hit a wide-open jumper, and the finishing at the rim has been terrible as well.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    The good news is that they're only down six, considering they've played about as poorly as they're capable of.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    This game depends on Korver. If he makes some 3 pt shots, that will give a boost

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    agreed, but who will he be guarding?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    someone make a stinkin 3!!!!!!!!

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Thibs...please keep Taj and Asik.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Rose, LeBron and Wade all three playing one-on-one

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Rose basically has decided he will not pass today..Whenever he goes into that mode, we are done.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Miami has momentum, I doubt Bulls win... hope that I am wrong

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Five points seems like an insurmountable lead the way this has been going.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    This is where the difference between Asik and Noah..Noah gets too aggressive

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Bulls have given up.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Korver worthless tonight, too bad, the team gave this one away IMO

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Yup...Thibs screwed it up too playing Rose and Deng too much. Both look tired

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Agree. If he is not hitting his shots he's a liability. But then all our offence was off.

    35% does NOT get it done!!

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    How quickly a series can change with a tied series going to Miami. Bulls may be in some trouble now. They have got to win 1 game in Miami now...not good.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    They never seem to do things the easy way but I guess the usually get it done in the long run.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    The story lines will be about Miami's defense but that was not the case, it was the Bulls getting into 1 of those scoring funks cause they don't have a second option.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    No argument there. 3-20 from 3pt range and most of them were open looks. 16-26 from the free throw line.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    People will talk about D. Wade and James' scoring, too, but the Bulls held the Heat to 85 points. That's supposed to be enough to win. The free throws and 3 pointers killed them tonight.

  • In reply to magestew:

    LeBron got some critical points at the end. The Bulls offense was basically shutdown after Asik left for whatever reason.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    The Bulls went completely away from the screen and roll. And I think they got thrown off when Spo switched LeBron to Rose and Wade to Deng. He did it down the stretch of the game and the Bulls couldn't adjust in time.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And guess what folks... the Heat are undefeated at home in the playoffs so far, have to hope the Bulls will give them 1 home loss in this series

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I knew Haslem was going to make a difference at some point in this series and the Bulls got caught off guard with him being in the game. Someone should have known it was gonna happen with their bigs being inactive.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Time to sit Korver down. He has been off for a long time now. Thibs has to put Butler in for Korver for a few minutes if Korver is struggling.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I like this Butler over Korver idea. If Korver is cold, must try something else. Even Brewer can create points with his defense.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Deng/Rose/Bogans/Watson a combined 2-15 from three ... that's been the sign of a loss all season. Korver didn't hit his either, but whether Korver hits shots or not doesn't seem to affect the team much, they get spacing from him being there and if he hits shots it's gravy. But the percentage from three of Deng/Rose/Bogans/Watson is all way lower in losses than wins.

    Just have to hope they hit shots in Miami so the Bulls can put enough points on the board.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    why didnt thibs bring asik back in the damn game! he had better D than noah' please i do not wanna see kover no more this series

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The Bulls don't seem to handle prosperity well for all this talk of Thibs making them focussed.

    The only thing is the Bulls defense keeps them in games. FWIW, Asik's injury just changed the whole flow of the game.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Rose couldn't hit shots, Deng started well but couldn't keep it up, not enough ball movement, really doomed the offense.

    Defensively Asik needs to play until he fouls out the rest of this series. Korver needs to sit unless one of LeBron or Wade is on the bench, whatever spacing he provides is nullified by the points that Miami can exploit against him. Against most teams Korver's fine on defense, but LeBron and Wade together is too much.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Let the doubts begin. The Bulls need to have mental strength and energy to get one in Miami.

    Again, it is the same old story. Defense was good but nobody can make tough shots except Rose and if Rose is not on his game....end of story.

    Asik and Gibson had got us to 73 all and the game slipped away after Asik left.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    How on earth are we still in this game??

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    You won't win a game shooting 35%! Missing too many of the wide open shots tonight

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Bulls are too tight...need to relax and play

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    nice that miami pgs are so weak that having watson play extended minutes is not a big deal

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Miami seems to have no energy and the Bulls D clamping down early. Too early to say how the rest of the game is going to go, but nice way to end the period DENG!!!

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    New bulls song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brhFTbKn71E

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    We will win game 2 - because i feel there will be no let down. Thibs is a genius, the players have this mindset that the Heat will give it their all and the bulls players are ready and will double their effort even more. So no LETDOWN, I see it on their faces. We will win GAME 2.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Bulls need to take care of home court advantage, plain and simple. Everyone and their momma outside of Chicago is taking the heat to win game 2 and ultimately the series. I'm sorry but I saw something different with the Bulls in game one imo that will win the series against the Heat. I think Thibs even tho he isn't playing in the game and it's up to the players to run the schemes knows what to do defensively to slow down Wade and especially Lebron. The Bulls do not need to go back to Miami for 2 games in a 1-1 series tie cause anything can happen down on south beach with everyone wanting the Heat to win this series anyway. If the Bulls fall behind in tonight's game, they need to keep the deficit as low as possible cause I feel that's when Miami play their best game, when they are leading. Everyone should look for the B.S. calls tonight against the Bulls as well. Lebron already coming up with excuses for whatever reasons. I say it's a must win for the Bulls, don't give Destiny's Child, (Wade, Lebron, and Bosh) any confidence...Bulls need to give this team some doubt on if they can win the series going to Miami for games 3 and 4.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The offensive rebounds made them(LeBron and Wade) tired and give up. I understand being physically tired from all the running but giving up mentally was what I was encouraged.

    About the refs, I think they don't want to get that BS call thing going based on the league's reputation already. David Kahn already talked about lottery fixing and if there is a decided bias by the refs for the whiners.., then there might be trouble.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I agree on the mindset of the Heat, this is why I say the Bulls need to win this game tonight to make the Miami 3 really start to think and doubt themselves against the Bulls defense.

Leave a comment