Heat stuff the Bulls behind huge defense effort

The Bulls defense played well enough to win the game.   The Bulls offense did not.   Miami played some great defense, but the Bulls also simply missed easy shot after easy shot.   They missed the tips they made last game, and in the end, the stat that did them in?   

The Bulls shot only 3/20 from the three point and 34% from the field.   Even despite that horrific performance, they were still in the game as it was tied around the four minute mark.

Then it was MVP time.

Unfortunately, our MVP didn't show up

Love Derrick Rose.   Love him.  However, he didn't show up for the game.   He shot the ball poorly, missed lots of shots around the rim, and had tons and tons of bad possessions where he dribbled down 12 seconds off the clock before trying to start the offense then never moved the ball.

It could be argued that Rose lost faith in his teammates or refused to pass the ball, but the reality is that this is how Rose has played all year, he just had a lousy game in terms of knocking down his shots.

LeBron James, meanwhile, dominated the game down the stretch scoring repeatedly, and the Bulls simply could not stop him.

Carlos Boozer needs to get his crap together

I don't know if he has a bunch of lower body injuries hampering him, but his play is quite simply unacceptable.  He had more missed rotations than you could shake a stick at, and he passed up shots on offense repeatedly while missing the majority of the shots he did take. 

The only positive thing about Boozer's situation now is that Thibodeau seems to have picked up on the fact that Boozer's been really lousy and isn't playing him much.

Joakim played a his game, but didn't quite get the results

There were times where he was able to get the Bulls going with his energy, and he still did a fair job rotating on defense, but the defense kicked up tremendously when Asik subbed in for him, and he couldn't quite convert on as many second chance opportunities as he did in the first game.

Luol Deng was two made threes away from a quality game

And the Bulls were about two made threes away from having a chance at this thing at the end.   However, Deng was 1/7, and his one make was a crazy half court heave at the end of the first.   However, Deng simply couldn't knock down his open threes, and that doomed Chicago.

I give Deng tremendous credit for his defense on LeBron even though LeBron had a much better game this time.  As Deng himself noted, LeBron just hits shots and is a great player.   You just try to make it as hard as possible.   I thought Deng's defense was excellent. 

Korver really hurt the Bulls a ton this game

LeBron scored his points at the end when the Heat played a pick and roll game with LeBron and whomever Korver was guarding to try and force a switch or force Deng under the screen into a tough spot.  It worked repeatedly to create quality shots for the Heat.

In terms of his own shooting, the Bulls worked hard to get Korver shots, and he had mostly wide open attempts from behind the arc, but could only knock down one of five.   Quite frankly, if Korver's not knocking down more shots than that, especially when the Bulls work hard to get him the open shots, he's simply not worth having out there (and I'm a huge Korver fan).

Ronnie Brewer had a nice night

He played a lot of high pressure defense, forced a few steals, got his hands on a lot of balls and generally was one of the few Bulls playing with high energy.   The Bulls looked much better with Brewer than Korver down the stretch, but once they got down they needed Korver's offense, or at least the threat of it, to try to come from behind.

Omer Asik had a tremendous night

16 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block, 1 turnover doesn't sound like much.  In fact, it sounds like he sucked.

Nothing could be further from the truth.   Asik impacted play after play with tremendous defense, and the Bulls lost it when they had to yank him for Joakim due some fairly massive bleeding from his chin after taking an elbow from Wade.

Omer steps up in the biggest ways defensively, he's shown a tremendous ability to defend without frequently biting for pump fakes and has improved his foul propensity tremendously.

Taj Gibson continues to play outstanding basketball

Loved Taj's effort and energy tonight.   The bench mob didn't have quite the same impact this game, but they did bring the same energy and were key when the Bulls did play well.

Taj was theonly player on the team to hit over half his shots and gave Chicago something no one else is.  The more Taj the better.

Bulls still beat the Heat on the glass, but their missed shots hide that fact

The Heat outrebounded Chicago 45 to 41, but that doesn't tell much of the story.    Chicago had an offensive rebound percentage of 32%.   Miami had one of 29%.   It wasn't the massive edge that Chicago had in game one, but the Bulls still had plenty of second shot opportunities.

They just couldn't knock down as many shots after getting them as game one,a nd that was ultimately the difference in the game.  

Where do we go from here?

The Bulls still brought it defensively and held Miami down.   However, quite frankly, they need to hit their shots.   The Bulls aren't an offensively gifted team outside of Derrick Rose, but their 34% shooting is bad even for them.

To win the series, they need more offensive output, more ball movement, and more shotmaking.

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  • It is really difficult to beat a good team like the Heat 5 times in a row. The Bulls were due for a letdown. Now, they have lost a game against them. It was expected.
    I think the Bulls win Game 3 but lose Game 4. Also, they have to just relax and play with focus and energy like Asik and Taj do. That seems to be the big difference between Noah and Asik. Noah has better offense and leadership skills than Asik. But the type of discipline that Asik has, Noah doesn't have it.
    Wade in a way got this win by getting Asik out of the game.
    And Thibs not going with CJ to give rest to Rose killed the Bulls. If Bibby or Chalmers are out there, what is the worry for Thibs to put in CJ for a few mins to get Rose rest.

  • Why do you think Thibs went with Noah instead of Asik down the stretch? The bloody chin really was a turning point in a grimey game that we had a decent chance of pulling out.

  • Again, it wasn't about the Heat Defense, it was the Bulls going back to their scoring woes and missing free throws. Bulls have their work cut out for themselves now cause the Heat have not lost a game at home in the playoffs so far and the Bulls have not lost 3 games in a row this year so something will have to give in the next 2 games. The Next 2 games will determine the Bulls playoff run IMO. They can't continue to miss easy shots and miss their free throws.

  • Also, what if we went with a Jomer line up like we were using at the beginning of the year? I honestly think that could be one of those series changing coaching adjustments. And if we don't want to make that dramatic of a change, I'd love to see more Asik/Taj than Noah/Boozer.

  • please! no more kover he had been awful, we need more asik and taj thats when the D is at there best

  • What's also interesting is that listening to the Bulls players during post game interviews, all (except Boozer haha) kept harping on their defense. IMO, besides when they sacrificed defense for offense (i.e. Korver playing), their defense was as stellar as you can hope for. Sure, they didn't rebound as well and perhaps Haslem's energy gave them the edge, but I don't think we can expect to play better defense than that. I really hope they work on some offense over the next few days because our defense was definitely good enough tonight to pull off a win.

  • asik bloody chin and noah dumb ass foul on wade change the game and oh also when kover turn his back james for that huge three kill it no more kover

  • boozer always missing easy shots and suckin on D why didnt we call a timeout to get asik back in the damn game

  • damn we let it slip away just going to have to live with it and move on but i do know this team can win one in miami i believe!

  • Really frustrating loss, but I'm not that down. The Heat played much better and yet the Bulls had their chances in the 4th. As I've said for the last few months, I respect the Heat, especially how dangerous Wade & James are, but the Bulls played truly pitiful offense and still were in the game late. The Heat have so many holes that with an even mediocre offensive performance, the Bulls can beat them.

  • I was at the San Francisco airport watching the game and people were yelling for Gibson to enter the game in the 3rd quarter. I feel Thibs played Boozer too much, Miami was getting to the rim repeatedly and Booz was missing his shots. Finally with 3 min left in the 3rd Thibs brings in the Bench Mob and the game turned around. But Thibs erred in subbing Korver for Brewer, and later Noah for Asik (though I understand now Asik was bleeding).

    If Asik/Gibson/Brewer closed the game Bulls had a chance. But when Korver is obviously cold why play him in the 4th? Brewer generates offense with his hustle and defense.

    Bulls starters were flat the last 8min of 2nd and first 9min of 3rd. That's when the game was lost. Thibs should let Bench Mob continuing playing when they are doing well. Just go with them like that Atlanta game.

    I agree with schaumburgfan that Rose must be rested to close the game.

    But we must also give Miami credit, they played much better and Haslem was a difference maker. Bulls let this one slip away.

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