How the Bulls can beat the Heat

How the Bulls can beat the Heat

Since the start of the playoffs, it looked obvious that two teams had separated themselves from the pack.   The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.   It seemed inevitable (at least to me) that they would meet in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

No offense to Atlanta or Boston, but they simply aren't on the same level as Chicago and Miami.   Atlanta was lucky to hang in for six games as Chicago really only brought their A game twice, won with their B game twice, and lost with their C/D game twice.   Boston had the scheme, but not the athleticism to stick with the Heat.  Father time rarely loses when competing against athletes. 

The Heat are the favorite

I've fairly consistently said all season long the Heat were the toughest opponent in the conference.  I had hoped that by some miracle Boston would finish them off for us, but we're going to have to do our own dirty work.

If you're in doubt of whether this opinion is rational or not, go look up the Vegas odds.  Vegas odds are a rational place.  They don't have homer bias.  They are biased to make the most money.

That said, upsets happen, and these teams aren't light years apart.  The Bulls can beat the Heat.

The Bulls need to defend like the last five quarters against Atlanta

The Chicago Bulls just threw down championship caliber defense in the last five quarters of basketball they've played.   They smothered the Hawks like they had no business being in the game. 

With the right energy level, they can do the same thing to Miami.  Watching the Boston/Miami series, the one thing the Celtics had going for them was a smothering double team that frequently forced Miami into tough shots.   The Bulls defense played the same way against the Hawks.

The Bulls will need to use their depth and smother LeBron and Wade all game long to put the ball in the hands of their shooters and Chris Bosh to see whether those guys can make plays.  With quick rotations, the Bulls should manage to cover up on the Heat shooters and not leave them with easy shots.  

However, unlike Atlanta, Miami has a plethora of shooters who will catch and release immediately and can hit over 40% from the three point line, so the Bulls will need to rotate quickly and efficiently.

The Bulls have plenty of guys to help at the basket, but Wade and LeBron are too good of finishers if your help defenders are starting inside the circle.  The Bulls need to help further out rather than depending on their big men to make plays where its more likely that LeBron/Wade will have picked up their dribble and will draw the foul on any contact.

Hot shooting is an underdogs best friend

The Bulls have minimized Derrick's three point attempts recently to the benefit of Chicago.  However, Luol Deng, Kyle Korver, and Keith Bogans need to launch open threes whenever they get them, and they need to knock them down.   Hot shooting opens up the floor for everyone else to drive as well as providing efficient scoring.

The key is to take quality three point looks.   Get your three point shots on catch and shoots from dribble penetration or post ups.   Don't settle for off the dribble pull up threes except as a last resort and limit the times where Korver comes off a base line screen and has to come off a hard cut then turn, catch, and shoot in one motion. 

The Bulls need quality three point shooting, and the key to getting it is maximizing quality attempts rather than forcing the issue with three point shots.

Keep the pace low, but use your depth to play with frenetic energy

Chicago should press the crap out of Miami with Bogans and Brewer going all out with their defensive intensity every second they're on the floor.  They can use all five big men to trap aggressively and wear down LeBron and Wade with wave after wave of defenders attacking them.

However, just because the energy level is high doesn't mean the pace should be.  Miami is most deadly in the open court, the key to victory will be keeping this a half court affair and forcing them to score through our energized defense.

On the offensive side, the Bulls want to play fast, but not in a hurry.  They need to look to get out in transition every rebound, but quickly decide whether they have a very high caliber shot or not, and when they don't, they need to pull it back out and settle into the half court.

Miami kills teams with blocks from behind and turning what looks like a transition play for their opponent into a transition play for themselves.   The Bulls aggressively look for transition opportunities, but they should conservatively decide whether to take them once they're on the break.

Rebounding needs to be a team effort

Miami doesn't have a dominating rebounder, but they're a quality rebounding team because Wade and LeBron can do a lot of damage on the glass from the perimeter.  Miami typically isn't very aggressive on the offensive glass, but that dynamic may change with Udanis Haslem back playing minutes.

The Bulls are going to need aggressive rebounding from all five positions in rather than just the front court in order to keep their advantage.  In particular, those defending Wade and LeBron need to make sure to box out to stop them from charging in.

It's MVP time

No matter how little Bulls defense gives them, no matter how well they shoot.  No matter how well they rebound, the Bulls odds of winning rest on the shoulders of one man.

The MVP.  Derrick Rose.

Chicago will have to see what the Miami strategy for defending Rose is, and Dwyane Wade is probably their best option.   Rose needs to wear him out on offense and let the rest of the Bulls perimeter defenders help him on defense.

If the Heat defend Rose with someone other than Wade, then Rose should crank up the aggressiveness and take it to that guy early and often.  When the Heat trap, look for the big man at the free throw line or the open guy in the corner and move the ball quickly and efficiently. 

Rose is in a tough spot because he doesn't have a second dominant offensive creator on his team.  The burden will fall completely on his shoulders, but he looks ready for it, and while the Bulls don't have another offensive creator, they do have great depth of quality players who can execute with the openings he creates.

Final thoughts

I think the Heat win in six, but I think the Bulls can win in seven if they take it that far.  That may sound contradictory, but there's a razor thin line between winning and losing in these games.   It only takes a couple bounces for them to go Chicago's way for them to take this series, and if they get the deciding game on their home court, I like their mental toughness more than Miami's.

Whomever wins this series is a heavy favorite to win the title as well.  I think either team has the defensive capability to defeat the remaining teams out west.   Perhaps the Mavericks are the most dangerous threat left to either team because neither the Heat or Bulls have a great answer for Dirk's offense.

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  • on world sports exchange (wsex.com) a 100 bet on the bulls will give you 156 if Bulls win the series. I think that is the best bet I have seen this playoff season. If bulls win the first game that should drop down to 1:1 quickly.

  • In reply to dreverts:

    Wait is this what wsex had at 9:30 AM today???

    It's like 4:15pm and wsex has Bulls at +170. Miami at -200.

  • In reply to gwill:

    That's strange, I'm looking at 5:15 PM (CT) and its..

    Eastern Conference

    Bulls = +156 ($100 bet wins you $156)

    Heat = -194 ($194 bet wins you $100)

    For those feeling lucky pick Memphis to win the West and $100 bet will get you $1566...not bad odds.

  • In reply to zmorg77:

    Looking at world sports exchange's Series Lines...

    BS 91 5/15 (F) MIAMI VS CHICAGO (CONFERENCE FINALS - BEST OF SEVEN GAMES) (3:00 pm ET)
    Money Line
    MIAMI
    -200
    CHICAGO
    +170

    MGM sportsbook had the Bulls at +170 tonight also.

    Vegas money is moving.

  • In reply to dreverts:

    hey just a side note: since we will have more rest than normal playoff games. Would they give rose more minutes?

  • Good analysis Doug, have to agree on the keys to Bulls victory. Win the rebounding battle, pack the paint and keep Lebron & Wade shooting jumpers as much as possible, and shut down Bosh and I think Chicago can take them. If all 3 of those guys go for 20-25+ pts per game, it'll be tough, but they're very beatable when you can limit at least one of them.

    I also think that the "underdog" role is very beneficial mentally for the Bulls. All season long they were the unknown/quiet good team in the league and were playing very well and I felt like their intensity dropped off after they started getting national recognition. I think the lack of respect their getting right now will be very good for them. Hope I'm right!

    I'm hoping for Bulls in 6 but I wouldn't be surprised if it went either way. I think this series is a toss up. It should be a good one!

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I think the Heat being favored in this series is a result of the Bulls being banged up and not playing their best earlier in the playoffs. The Bulls appeared to be getting everyone healthy the last couple of games against the Hawks, so I see this series as even.

    Rebounding is the one edge the Bulls should be able to count on, and they'll need it since they aren't likely to be as efficient as the Heat on offense. The Heat can count on winning the transition game, so the Bulls must minimize their turnovers in this series. They've had problems with turnovers throughout most of the season, so this won't be easy. Perimeter shooting will probably tip some games one way or the other also. I think if the Bulls can successfully limit their turnovers, thereby limiting the Heat's easy points in transition, they'll win this series. If not, they'll lose.

  • I agree that the Heat in 6 is most likely. However, the X factor will be Boozer. If he can play at a consistent high level (which I doubt)the Bulls can prevail if their defense and Derrick play like they have all year. Execution at crunch time will be critical.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I think the Bulls have several X factors on offense, particularly if Miami chooses to double Rose. The key is crisp passing to the open man.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Good analysis. Disappointed you favor the Heat to win considering they have YET to beat the Bulls. Beating Boston in 5 games didn't impress me considering Rondo's injury and the absense of Perkins. Those games were close up until the final minutes, and if the Heat put themselves in a similar postion against the Bulls I think they'll find Derrick won't be choking.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I think the main factor is the focus, intensity and the energy the Bulls will have. If the Bulls are good in that, all the strategies and shots/defense will work.
    It is also good that overwhelmingly every one is picking against the Bulls. The Bulls are good at this especially Noah. He has said that they can get drunk a little bit on success.

    I like the Bulls game plan of Game 5 against Atlanta. Have a small/decent lead and shutdown by a good defensive squad to disrupt the offense. BTW, I hope Wade gets a hard foul whenever he tries to go to the rim and the Bulls trap him or LeBron if they are bringing up the ball.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I believe the X factors are being a good rebounding team & good play at the point gaurd postion. Those factors can expose Miami's flaws and help the Bulls to victory.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    There is a slight bias with vegas odds. The professionals that make them are not doing so based on how they think the series will unfold, but on how they think the public will bet, which is where the bias lies. Evidence of this exists in teams that stray from close to a 50-50 winning percentage against the spread, be it positive or negative. For example, this playoff, the Mavericks are 10-0 against the spread. Its vegas' job to make that number closer to 5-5.

    Having said that, if you're not a betting man, I don't know why you would care about who the favorite is and who the underdog is. Just win baby. I believe in my team.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I don't really care about who the favorite or underdog is per se. I just use that to color what I believe the realistic odds of winning the series are.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    true. I think anyone would put it close to 50/50. Its really splitting hairs from there, and is going to come down to who makes plays, particularly down the stretch of games. When James and/or Wade are in can't miss mode, it will be difficult to beat them. I think we take every other game where they are not.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The best thing to happen would be not a beating in the first game(I would love that)but a close game with the Bulls winning. That will put a lot of doubt in the Heat where they are more vulnerable. Don't look too much into the 4th quarter success against the Celtics. The Heat struggled to close in the 4th quarter against the 76ers. The Celtics are a bigger choke team than the Heat in the 4th quarter. How can Ray Allen/Paul Pierce not score in the 4th quarter.

    I want Noah/Asik/Bogans not to give any two and 1 for Wade. LeBron is strong and will get his share. But Wade has to be rattled.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    yep, a lot of unforced errors by the C's in the 4th

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    The Celtics were just throwing the ball out of bounds at the end of game 5. Lazy passes too ie. LeBron's break away steal.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    ChiRy is correct, the Vegas odds reflect what they think the public will bet on not who they think is better or will win or by how much. The 2 can be the same, but usually are not,especially with the non professional bettors, i.e. the general public.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I heard the Score saying the Bulls are point and a half favorites. Strange to have the spread but not the odds.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    to beat heat bulls need :

    1. The last game's boozer. I understood boozer, to be efficient he must be kept out of foul trouble. When he is in foul trouble (like most of the playoffs), he isn't in the flow of the game. Game 6 he was simply on fire. And like someone said(i forgot who), Boozer must play more with his jump-shot instead of tryin to do low-post moves.

    2. The bulls must push where it hurts miami namely the rebounds. If we maximise the rebounds, things will be hard for heat.

    3. Noah must shut Bosh down !! Bosh is their X-factor.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Definitely agree, controlling the boards and shutting down one of the "big" 3 is the key (Bosh is the easiest of them to shut down). I have some friends who are Sixers fans and I told them if the Sixers could shut down Bosh, they'd have a shot (a long shot) at pulling off the upset in round 1. Philly didn't have the interior D to shut him down and Bosh had a good series. I really think he was the difference in that series for Miami. Thankfully the Bulls have the interior D to shut him down.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    bosh is the easiest of them to shut down.

    I like that sentence. looool

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    In other words, The Bulls have to do what they normally do to play at a high level: get MVP caliber play from D. Rose, play stingy-ass defense, win the battle of the boards, and minimize turnovers. If they do all of that, their intensity and outside shooting will be determine whether or not they beat Miami.

    James and Wade will get theirs but the Bulls defense has to make them work really hard to do it while minimizing the other Heat players. Bosh will be up and down like he always is. The Bulls bigs need to attack him when he's on defense to either get him in foul trouble or at least cancel out his contributions.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    We need to body Joel Anthony in the middle in order to win the rebounding battle.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Very true, Vegas doesn't make its picks in order to accurately depict the outcome, but rather what the outcome will mean for their revenue.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Skip Bayless sure fits in well with the Heat, what a douche bag.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Speaking of ESPN, how stupid are the interviewers from ESPN? The lady yesterday asked Rose after the game...Who will Chicago support -- Rose or Wade? Rose was being polite. But, I wish she should have asked Noah the same question.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I was thinking the same thing, he laughed when he heard that crap question

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    One of Doug

  • In reply to Edward:

    The Bulls will go to the defensive lineup if two things happen.
    1. The Bulls are up by 8/10 points in the 4th quarter.
    2. The starters are in foul trouble and are struggling to be aggressive on both ends.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Rose, brewer,Deng, Taj and ASik. Defensive line up. Rose, Korver,Deng, Boozer Noah. Offensive line up

  • In reply to vinmotors:

    exactly !

  • In reply to Edward:

    yoU're completly right about your lineup which can stop miami.In the 4th with that lineup, we could count only on our mvp to win the game while james and wade will be selfish and stopped by deng and brewer. If they pass them, the wall asik-gibson will take care of business.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I have no problem with that lineup, but you guys are disconting Noah as a component of our best defensive lineup.

    the only reason for this is that for the bulk of Noahs minutes he is carrying a 268lb load of crap on his back.

    Neither Taj or Asik is capable of carrying that baggage either. Any combo of those 3 is our best defensive front court.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Maybe it's the homer in me talking, but I don't see why Asik can't become the second best defensive center in the NBA. I mean Chandler made 2nd team all-D this year, and Chandler's great I loved him when the Bulls had that 47 win season, he was MVP of that team. But I just feel like Asik has more of an impact when he's out there. If he gets his fouls down (which normally happens for rookies as they get more experienced) and gets a situation where he can play bigger minutes why couldn't he be all-D?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Actually, Hollinger already refers to him as such, and I think that Simmons is in love with him too.

  • In reply to Edward:

    The two huge factors favoring a Bulls victory are going very much unnoticed.

    1. The Bulls play better as an underdog. We've been pulling out our hair these first two rounds, wondering why our team started off slow and tense. Its so much easier to relax as the underdog. The only reason the 2009 Bulls took the Celtics to 7 games was the underdog factor, it certainly wasn't talent. JoNoah feeds on being an underdog, Rose plays his best under pressure, the Bull's shooters seem to relax and play with more rhythm when they aren't expected to win.

    2. The rebounding edge is the most understated factor in basketball and has been equally understated thus far in coverage of this coming series. Lebron, Wade, and Bosh can shoot 50% all they want, but if the Bulls are pulling down 10+ more rebounds per game and shooting marginally worse than Miami the Bulls can still win the game.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I agree in both points except since the Bulls play those first two at home they may feel the pressure to hold serve although I fee like they can get one of the next two in Miami.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I still would like to see Noah and Asik together to shut down the paint.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    you and me both buddy, have been hoping for it all year. Hope Thibs pulls it out here

  • In reply to BigWay:

    To think that the Bulls have a legitimate chance to beat the Heat, one has to believe that Atlanta was a better team than a lot of people are giving them credit for.
    I think most people judge the Hawks as a 44 win team that lost a lot of games at the end of the regular season, not the one the Bulls played in the 2nd round. I believe that the playoff team, for the most part, was more focused and energetic. Already an athletic team they were more so with Teague. Larry Drew did a good job.
    The Bulls are being underrated because the Pacers and Hawks are being under valued.
    I think, as it's often been discussed here, it may be the opposite. The Knicks, Celtics and to a lesser degree the 76ers were slightly overrated
    The game Sunday will determine a lot. Perhaps the series.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I agree that most see the Heat beating the Celtics as some huge accomplishment but the Celtics were not even close to their best and had numerous injuries and easily could have made this a tighter series. Atlanta just came off beating Orlando and have multiple quality players that when ON or focused can do some damage against anyone. Problem for them is that they usually aren't very focused. Despite the Bulls recent play, which we all agree could be better, they still are 8-3 in the playoffs. If boozer played against the Pacers like he ended against Atlanta then we are more likely looking at 8-1. Many analysts thinks Rose shoots too much but with no post game from boozer he was kind of force to carry even more of the load.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Pacers were very under-rated obviously by most national media. When the national media don't pay so much attention/respect to a big market, MVP led Bulls because it is blue-collar...imagine how much attention they paid to the Pacers. The Pacers had a good record against lot of good teams at the end of reg season.
    And the Hawks were a confident bunch who were better coached this year and had more experience.

    I think the surprise of this series is how many times can Bogans/Brewer combo punish Wade and slow him down.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    I cant believe the idiot who wrote this article pick the Heat over Bulls in six games in a article called how the bulls can beat heat I dont get why people act like they have Gods playing for them in wade and James like they cant be beat by a team that has beat them three times already James and Wade had good games the times they played but the Heat still lost game they beat a older injury riddled celtics team with a one arm point guard and now they cant be beat

  • In reply to DerrisoD:

    I agree, Doug you're an idiiot.

    BTW thanks again for writing these daily Bulls articles ; )

    Some people

  • In reply to DerrisoD:

    Humility vs arrogance, winning vs quitting, good vs evil- Derrick Rose will show Lebron everything that he could have been.
    Go Bulls, and go Rose!
    http://bit.ly/kJ7JUz

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Wilbon's take on Bulls Heat:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nba/columns/story?columnist=wilbon_michael&id=6537717

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Yea, what a joke.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    The thing about that interview is I don't think she was expecting to talk to Rose. She was interviewing Boozer originally and then Boozer was like, "hey, here's who you need to talk to, the man!" or something like that and she looked a bit unready.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    One important thing about this series is the gap between the games..
    Whom will that help more? I think since both are relatively young teams, the fatigue factor is not a big deal. That said, can the Bulls play lock-down defense better because of the rest. I think it helps Deng, Boozer and Noah the most especially Deng and Noah to play defense.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    its a very odd schedule
    before game 1: heat 3 days off, Bulls 2
    1-2 2 days off
    2-3 3 days off
    3-4-5-6-7 all 1 day off

    I know tv ratings play a huge role, but that's just weird

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It's because of the f@#*ing Oprah show at the UC on Monday. The series was supposed to start Monday, which would have given the bulls one more much needed day of rest. But, Oprah (with the UC probably bowing down to her) decided to swipe a day of rest from the bulls when the most significant series since the jordan era looms.

    Oprah got Pres. Obama and the first lady to come to her rather than have to go to DC. She has her own street now and her own channel. And now she is altering the bulls schedule for the conference finals.

    Props to her, but I'm so sick of this woman!

  • In reply to Crowned:

    It's not just the Oprah show, though that plays a roll, it's also that the WCF needs to wrap up in a similar time frame. What if Memphis wins tonight and there's a game 7 on Sunday? The WCF couldn't start until Tuesday.

    By spreading out the ECF you get the series back in sync more.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It'S because of the oprah winfreys' shows. OMG,That woman is more powerfull than the nba.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I think the quicker turnaround helped the Bulls in game 1. With the Bulls advantage in depth, I prefer less time between games against the Heat. They need to rely heavily on three players, the more minutes they have to play in a shorter period of time the better for the Bulls.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Great article Doug. I think you hit the main points. While I agree that the Bulls don't have an automatic second offensive creator behind Rose, Deng, Boozer, and Noah can all score. And, after Wade and LeBron, Miami's defense drops off pretty sharply.

    If the Bulls first team can essentially play even with Miami's first team, our bench should dominate. Taj and Brewer need to be monsters, but the key guy here is Korver. He has not shot well lately, and he needs to return to form. In the playoffs so far, he is 47% from three points, but only 29% in the last 5 games. If he is closer to the 44-47% range, we will be much happier!

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I agree with you on Boozer. If he plays at a high level it can swing the series.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If he plays like Wilt or Russell, or even Karl Malone then he will decide the series

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I'm 100% sure he won't be playing like Wilt or Russell, but maybe an past prime Malone.

  • In reply to ironsam:

    I'd be fine with Moses Malone. His rebounds are going to be as imporant as his points.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Nice comments by all, I would add:
    1)Back court turnovers - seems like we tend to give the Heat too many points off this even in our victories.
    2)Don't give the other Heat shooters uncontested shots. Contest Lebron & Wade's outside shots, but not to the extent you let them drive the lane. I'll take the odds of losing via those two's outside shooting over the alternative any day.

  • Outstanding article. Even if one assumes that Miami is the better team, the Bulls' strengths match up against Miami's weaknesses.

  • In reply to mrasmussen11:

    The Bulls strengths do match up fairly well against the Bulls weaknesses, but Miami's strengths also match up well against our weaknesses.

    They have an uber-athletic SF which an likely shut down Deng limiting our second option. They have tremendous perimeter athleticism in which to trap Derrick Rose, and they play well in transition (which when we struggle defensively is usually where we struggle).

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Pretty much ignored Miami's D which is as good as anyones, including ours and Bostons. they can bring it when they want to.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    For Derrick, we need to hope he doesn't force his shots...or force his game-if that makes sense. His teammates play a central role in that however-he needs to be able to trust them. Yesterday was truly Derrick at his best-facilitating the offense, (smart passes!) taking his shots as they came, the occasional amazing drive-but not forcing it. The play of Boozer and company allowed Derrick to be that ideal player-and he likewise allowed them to take more of the load.
    It comes down to Boozer/Deng and our role players more than Derrick. Hopefully last game emboldens Boozer in particular. The defense, particularly interior, will be there-but can our offense keep up is the question.

    Great stuff as always.

    And Now a Shameless plug.

    Derrick Rose vs LeBron James: A Quick Comparison http://chicagonow.com/13lw

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Haha that was badass Droses knickname should be the wolverine!!

    Wolverine vs The Ringless King

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Wolverine!!!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    The Chicago Bulls would like to welcome 396,815 of their newest fans to the Eastern Conference Finals...the residents of the city of Cleveland!

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Sorry I stole this from you but it was too good not to share!!

  • In reply to koolking83:

    DRose... "knows headbands are stupid" Hilarious!

    Also, always good when you can work Lebron's mom sleeping with Delonte West (Lebron's step-dad as I like to call him) into a post!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Hey! Hold on! Are we saying that wade &/or james are going to shut down the perimeter AND play us for the drive? I know they are good, but that's comic book superhero good, isn't it? Unlike Boston, we can exploit them with speed and match or beat their energy. If James is guarding Deng on the perimeter, who is helping wade on Rose, and who is guarding KK or Booz/ Noah? Let's be realistic about the OTHER team for a change.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Hey! Hold on! Are we saying that wade &/or james are going to shut down the perimeter AND play us for the drive? I know they are good, but that's comic book superhero good, isn't it? Unlike Boston, we can exploit them with speed and match or beat their energy. If James is guarding Deng on the perimeter, who is helping wade on Rose, and who is guarding KK or Booz/ Noah? Let's be realistic about the OTHER team for a change.

    Read more: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/2011/05/how-the-bulls-can-beat-the-heat.html#ixzz1MGQSrKrj

  • In reply to fanbeforejordan:

    I agree, Wade & James won't be able to shut down Rose on the perimeter. He's too quick for them and it will leave others open, who will hopefully knock down the open shots that they're given.

    Just curious though why you linked this same article at the bottom of your post?

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Eating a sandwich and hit some xtra keys...

  • In reply to fanbeforejordan:

    Great analysis, Chicago in 6 or 7.
    1. We have the best bench.
    2. We have the best rebounding.
    3. We have the best coach.
    4. We have the best defense.
    5. We have the MVP
    Yup I know they have the 3 stooges but our suffocating defense will contain them. We will beat the HEAT!

  • In reply to fanbeforejordan:

    It is crazy that beating a old Boston team has somehow made that Miami beat a championship team.
    Look at Boston:
    1. No Center ...Perkins traded(disrupted chemistry), Shaq hurt, J O'Neal - back spasms and old, Kristic -- doesn't know the system well and not great as a starter
    2. Rondo ...playing on one hand from Game 3 and West injured on his shoulder
    3. Pierce ... playing with achilles strain
    4. Garnett ....old and gassed half the time
    5. Allen ...got bruised on his chest and probably the healthiest 36 year old shooter.
    6. And Boston has been struggling for the second half of the season big time and they got lucky beating a thin NY team missing 2 of their best players.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Also regarding J O'Neal, I just read Doc Rivers said J O'Neal will be having major hand surgery to repair broken bones in his hand that he injured against the Knicks.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Vegas is straight on Miami's jock tonight. Heat at -190 at the Vegas Hilton, with +170 bulls. MGM sportsbook got Miami at -185.

  • In reply to gwill:

    How does all of that work?? I wanna go do some betting

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Let's say you're walking through the Vegas Hilton tonight on your way to Spearmint Rhino or some other strip club of ill-repute, and you happen to pass the Hilton sportsbook. Let's say you have $100 in your pocket. You're a Bulls fan, so you say to yourself rhetorically, "Hey, why the F&ck not bet on my boy D-Rose tonight" and you end up placing a $100 bet on the Bulls to win. Since they're the underdog, with the plus sign after number, you're going to be risking your $100 to win $170. Easy, right?....BUT here's the problem, you're in Vegas, AND you're on your way to Spearmint Rhino. Any money you win will go straight to the strippers anyway and then to the buffet line later in the morning. At the end of the day, you end up losing. In Vegas, the House and the Ho's always win.

  • In reply to gwill:

    ROFLMAO

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Doug, I was wondering. Who do you think guards Lebron if Deng gets in foul trouble, which I have to assume will happen at some point?

  • In reply to gf2020:

    I'd say probably Brewer. KK is a definite NO and Taj isn't quick enough. Maybe Rasual Butler if Thibs decides to surprise us, but most likely Brewer, which would mean Bogans minutes would probably increase cause he'd have to come back in to guard Wade.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I guess CJ could also guard Wade some also if Brewer had to take Lebron.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    This indeed will be tough matchup for the Bulls. The Bulls need to keep Wade and Lebron from running wild on the fastbreak, try to limit their transition baskets,try make them shoot jump shots and limit both from driving to the basket. It sounds like a lot, but if the Bulls can utilize their bench like they did during the regular season and that means using Kurt Thomas as well because no one is saying anything about this but Udonis Haslem will be activated for this series and I am sure Spolestra will go to him at some point in this series. This Miami Heat team is Pat Riley's version of Jordan, Pippin, and Grant, and this is the reason why the Bulls have to have a perfect game plan ready for this team. The Bulls have to take care of the Ball meaning don't try and force passes where too many Heat players are around. I am hating that the Bulls have to play this team but win or lose the series, the Bulls will get better as a team from this challenge.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Rose will have to improve on one of his weaknesses, taking care of the ball. Many loose turnovers are likely ending in dunks at the other end.

  • In reply to gf2020:

    Ronnie Brewer is going to be important against both Wade & LeBron. He's the only guy on the team we can swing between either of them depending on who he's playing with and hope to match up with them.

    That you have to watch up LeBron & Wade for over 40 minutes a night will probably be the reason we see more Brewer and less Korver this series. The only real way I see to get Korver on the floor is if Rose guards Wade and Korver is on the point.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    He could guard James jones

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I was saying the exact same thing to a friend of mine after the game. Miami has only looked good if you listen to & watch only ESPN. The best team in the playoffs thus far is the Mavs. If we keep the turnovers down & make Miami play half-court, we'll be Finals bound. I think we can & will win this series in 6 or 7.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Winning the first two games wins or loses the series IMO. If the Bulls hold home court I think Miami will crack under pressure. If Miami can split those games I think the Bulls lose, it'll be hard to catch back up to a team of natural front runners like the Heat.

    Which front court turns up is going to be interesting. If Noah & Boozer are scoring around 30 between them I like the Bulls chances. If we get the version where they struggle to even get into double digits I really don't see how the Bulls can win this. Hopefully like in game 6 we see plays run for Boozer & Noah early. They were more involved all game when they felt part of the offense rather than just standing around watching.

    Asik hopefully plays a ton for defensive purposes, he changes the other team's ability to drive in the lane, and if there's one way to keep the Heat quiet it's force LeBron & Wade to shoot jump shots. My only fear with Asik is refs are pretty whistle happy against him at the best of times, LeBron & Wade versus gangly rookie center is not going to be a favourable call for the Bulls.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I don't agree, I think this plays out like the Atlanta series. I see the bulls losing one of the home games, making adjustments and getting one in Miami, hold for game 5, then I see them maybe losing game six in Miami but then coming home for game seven where it is likely a toss up. I think is the bulls aren't 2-2 after the first four I will be concerned. Obviously 0-2 would be terrible as well but 2-0 would almost seal it IMO. Will be interesting.

  • In reply to fanbeforejordan:

    The Bulls will win this series, if for no other reason than Derrick Rose wants some payback..

    LeBron (and the Cavs) knocked the Bulls out of the playoffs last year, and that has surely ignited a fire deep within Rose. I wouldn

  • I have a better analysis.

    1. Keep the big three of Miami under 70 points total per game.
    2. Keep James Jones and Mario Chalmers under 6-8 points per game.
    3. Deng has to be on his 18/8 game. Deng has to stay in motion and cut to the basket. Boozer has to be on his 20/10 game.
    4. The 3-headed shooting guard combo (Korver, Brewer, Bogans) must come up with at least 3-5 steals and a total of 20-25 points per game.
    5. Noah has to average 4-5 offensive rebounds/16-20 total rebounds per game.
    6. Last and not least D-Rose must distribute the ball and trust his teammates like he did last night. Keep his shot opps under 20 then they will make Miami work. No one on one, unless shot clock is under 5 secs.

  • In reply to chrishunigan:

    this is a better analysis

  • In reply to chrishunigan:

    The bottom line: as ESPN is touting, this is going to be a "perimeter series." At least that's what they, their money/ratings/and Miami hopes. Miami's advantage is on the perimeter attack. Bulls advantage is big man scoring and big man rebounding. Yet Noah's scoring is down from 15ppg in last year's playoffs to 9.9. And Boozer, despite last game's jump shot fest, has not been scoring down low the way he did earlier this year, and previously with the Jazz. Revisionist history aside Boozer does score down low. I'll have to check the stats, but the rep is he's a better post scorer then Bosh. It's hard to see the Bulls winning unless these two pull off a miracle, and find their old games.

    And Derrick can not turn the ball over. Period. Converting in the half court with slowed pace set ups/means less chances for Miami to score and break. Miami's D in past playoffs has been to cheat/bigs stand in the lane, and uproot posting bigs from behind or front them including holding. The Bulls are going to have to use seals and dives with bigs distributing from the upper post. And when they get bullied posting up from behind they're going to have to throw elbows and fight and bitch about it. And if they do the offensive player has the advantage/right to operate. And the refs will enforce it. Miami will have to back off. Which is what Dallas should have done in 06. Course Spoelstra may be doing things different then the Riley way. We'll see.

    I give the Bulls a 40% chance to win. If they do all the things mentioned above they can beat LeBron. Wade's a beast, but Lebron is a fold up artist under pressure. Likewise Bosh. The Bulls can win, but only if Jo and Booz can magically find thier games. Every game. And if they do and Taj and Omer get minutes, and Thibs tells them to score the damn ball when they have an open space/lane, then they will. And if Booz and Jo come back, then Derrick will let loose with the MVP barrage he did especially late in games as he did all year. But he's gonna need help every game from his bigs. He can't do it alone.

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