With the Miami Heat getting blown out against the Chicago Bulls, there's definitely going to be adjustments. After watching the game again last night and trying to break down the offensive play making for Chicago, I came up with my best guess as to how Miami decides to adjust to Chicago, and what Chicago can do to prepare for these adjustments in advance.
Prediction #1: Miami starts trapping under the screen
The play that worked most successfully for Chicago was a Derrick Rose screen and roll with a big man. Derrick Rose would routinely hit the pass to the big man who'd cut to the basket. That man would be cut off from weak side help defending Chicago's other big man.
Chicago's other big man would be left alone or with someone considerably smaller coming to help from outside position. This left him open for a possible shot attempt on a good pass or in prime offensive rebounding position leading to many of the Bulls offensive boards.
Miami will decide that they lost the game due to the crisp interior passing of Chicago and offensive rebound tries and will be forced to change up this action.
I'm guessing they go to a light trap with Derrick Rose where the guard plays under the screen and the big man floats back to trap the drive rather than going into a hard press. This will give Derrick open threes and long twos, or force him to try and beat the big man hard to the outside.
It also leaves the Chicago big man in a better position for a pick and pop than a pick and roll, as the interior pass will be tougher with the Miami big man floating back. Derrick Rose can defeat this defense by knocking down shots, hitting the pick and pop, or cutting hard and drawing fouls trying to go baseline on the big man going fading back.
Prediction #2: We see LeBron and Wade force the issue even when it's stupid
This isn't something I picked up on film, but my intrinsic take on human nature. Exclude the big three and exclude House/Haslem (both 0-1) who only played in garbage time, and the Heat shot 7/14, a respectable conversion on looks for the supporting cast.
Chris Bosh shot 12/18 and received the vast majority of his looks due to the Bulls intense pressure on Wade and LeBron.
Combined, those players shot 59% from the field. The Heat had to take the ball out of Wade/LeBron's hands, but when they actually moved the ball, things went pretty well for the Heat. When they didn't move it well enough things went worse.
My expectation is that Wade/LeBron decide more ISO will resolve this problem regardless of what their coach says. It's an unreasonable solution to a non problem, but I don't think their egos will allow anything else.
It's also likely that they perform better next game, drive harder, and attempt to force fouls to get to the free throw line. The Bulls need to adjust by continuing their present hard trapping defense and focusing on getting their feet set outside the circle for charge calls, and not biting on pump fakes when they shoot. If they make tough perimeter shots, then so be it, but no bailing them out by letting them dive into you for free throws.
Prediction #3: Thibodeau goes with more Derrick Rose / Kyle Korver screen and rolls
The Bulls created very good looks off this play, and they'll continue to do so, because the way to defend it is so unique relative to another screen and roll.
When Kyle Korver sets the screen and rolls out to the three point line, the correct trapping defense is to either have a third player come into the picture to guard Korver or a third player come into the picture to help trap Rose. A fourth player then needs to rotate in from the weak side to pick up the defender the third strong side player leaves, and the 5th player needs to rotate to pick up the 4th mans guy or play a zone of sorts.
The other option is to just go hard under the Korver screen or switch all together since Korver's defender may not be at a considerable disadvantage against Rose anyway depending who defends Korver. However, both options give Rose a lot of opportunity to win a one on one battle and get off a high quality shot or draw a foul.
Miami has shown struggles when their whole defense needs to rotate given that they don't have enough size or athleticism outside of LeBron and Wade. This play likely yields open three point looks for Korver which the Heat may live with given Korver's relatively cold shooting over the past few games.
Prediction #4: Miami starts leaking out to get transition baskets
The Heat stopped leaking out aggressively once Chicago started dominating the glass, however, that didn't help them on the glass and just cost them transition opportunities.
I look for the Heat to fight the Bulls offensive rebounding by attempting to overwhelm them in transition. If Chicago leaves their big men back attacking the glass then let LeBron and Wade hit transition in a four on four without a shot blocker in the paint.
They're both deadly in that scenario. If they make enough baskets, they may force Chicago's hand on how aggressively it attempts to get the offensive boards. That said, if I'm Chicago, I know I have multiple big men capable of defending the paint, so I focus hard on getting one big man back to defend and letting one attack the glass and hope to force Miami to stop the strategy.
Game two is a must win for Miami. Chicago has some cushion in that a tied series isn't the worst place for them to be, but a win for Chicago puts enormous pressure on the Heat. If Chicago can find a way to win game two, then I think Miami begins to crack under the pressure, and the Bulls have an excellent chance to close it out.
Quite frankly, if Chicago wins game two, this series is all but over as it's awfully difficult to imagine the Bulls losing four out of five to Miami in the remaining games. As such, I look for the Heat to come out with desperation.
The key for Chicago will be to survive the early surge and find ways to punish the Heat if their desperation causes some lack of discipline.