Bulls at Miami 7pm on TNT - Rose likely out, Deng likely in

Bulls at Miami 7pm on TNT - Rose likely out, Deng likely in

Derrick Rose will likely miss another Miami game. He's played in two of the three, but his health in the third meeting was poor enough that he was forced into a 1/13 performance which almost cost the team the game. The Bulls have effectively beaten Miami twice without Rose.

Given the above, you'd think I'd feel more confident that Chicago could do it or at least would have a chance. I don't. Maybe I'm just too pessimistic, but I don't see the Bulls winning this game without Rose or with a crippled banged up Rose. Maybe that's not fair to the rest of the guys who've proven they can play at a very high level even without Derrick, but I just can't see Miami allowing another loss. Not on their home floor.

-- update --
The game is more critical for Chicago than I thought. If they win this one, they'll wrap up home court in the Eastern Conference, and while they still control their own destiny if they lose, they'd need to win out if Miami wins out to get the #1 seed.

Need great play from Watson/Lucas

John Lucas carried the Bulls in the first win. C.J. Watson carried them in the second. One of them will need a great game for Chicago to beat Miami tonight. The Heat don't defend the PG position all that well and without Rose in the game, their biggest advantage is still at the PG position.

The one advantage that Watson/Lucas have over Rose is that both can shoot the three with far less daylight and far more accuracy than Derrick Rose can. They'll both take deeper threes and still knock them down as well. The Heat can't play a zone as effectively against this pair as they can against Rose, which should create openings for them to do their thing. They just need to shoot effectively with the shots they have.

Can Rip Hamilton continue rolling?

I think this is perhaps the most interesting question of the game. Hamilton has played in two of the three Heat games and played very poorly in both. The first time, in Miami, he said he was basically playing on one leg and missed a month of action immediately following the game to prove it.

The second time around he shot three of six for seven points, but had three turnovers and generally looked terrible out there. However, it was his fifth game back from injury, and he'd only had one nice game prior to that. He's since looked much better in the past three games.

So is Rip Hamilton capable of playing well against Miami or can Miami defend him too easily? If Rip can play at the level he has the past few games against the Heat then my confidence of beating them in a series will soar. If he has another dud game, and he's really just a guy who crushes bad defenses, then my confidence may wane.

Can the frontcourt dominate?

With Rose out, the Bulls will need plenty of quality play from the big four up front. They'll be placed in difficult positions defensively, they'll need to dominate the glass, and Chicago will need more scoring inside the paint than against most opponents.

Will the front court be up to the task? It will be a challenge.

Stop the transition game

The way to beat Miami is to not turn the ball over and force them into the half court all night long. They'll get their fair share of tough makes in the half court as well as their share of blow by dunks, but they dominate the crap out of you if you let them run up and down in transition.

Hard to see a victory

The game means more to Miami than Chicago and is in Miami. This is gut check time for the Heat. If they can't beat the Rose-less Bulls at home then they're in all kinds of trouble as a team. I think Miami has to come out and prove itself tonight, and I think they will. Not only do I think Miami wins, but I think they win big.

Hopefully the Bulls can piece together enough to make it a challenge or pull off the upset, but this is probably about as poor odds as the Bulls will face all season in any given game.

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  • I’m disgusted that the Heat lost to the Bulls twice without Rose. You would think things would be different in Miami, but I don’t take it for granted. Even if the Heat win, it is still unlikely they overtake Chicago for the #1 seed, but they still have a real chance to beat out San Antonio and OKC. I am torn between seeding versus being healthy/well rested. Both are obviously important. While I’ve been disappointed in Chris Bosh and the Heat’s bench, I’ll reserve judgement until I watch them in the playoffs.

  • I got a feeling this will end up being like that chi vs okc game a few weeks ago. whats more important though is the health of rose. is it that bad that he's still missing important games? i hope not.

  • You don't hear it quite as much as before, but Thibs said it again today in his pregame comments, the Bulls are a "young" team.

    How exactly are the Bulls young? Rose, in his 4rth season is their youngest player at 23(other than the Rook, Butler at 22) and the reigning MVP, Noah is 27 Deng is 27(going on 37), Boozer is 30, Hamilton is 34, Gibson is 26, Asik is 25, Korver is 31, Brewer is 27, Watson is 28, Lucas is 29.

    How is that a young team, other than Rose they are a veteran team basically in their prime years 25-30, if they stayed together for 2 more years we'd start calling them old.

    I just don't buy the young excuse anymore. Deng has been young for what seems like 10 years now.

    OKC is young the Bulls are not.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Maybe he figures subtract 2 years off anyone who was here n the Vinny era because they basically got no coaching for that period. ;)

  • From ESPN some interesting stats for you stats geeks out there.

    Looking at the offensive, defensive and net efficiency numbers of the three Bulls' "teams", in addition to their pace factor and win-loss records.

    Lineup O. EFF D. EFF NET PACE W L
    Full strength 111.2 102.3 9.0 89.2 11 2
    No Rose 108.8 100.5 8.3 86.6 17 8
    With Rose 111.4 101.5 10.0 88.3 30 7

  • In reply to BigWay:

    No real surprise, the offense is better with Rose, the defense is slightly better without him because it forces the Bulls to play slower which usually correlates with better defense.

  • what is it about the bulls that makes this douche lebron feel so manly... they gotta find a way to make him connect with his inner-little girl, we all know it's in there. How about a flagrant 3?

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    He sees someone under 6' and realises it's his duty as a hero to send a message. How did Wade not get tossed for throwing Hamilton out of bounds?

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Lebron knows the Bulls offense STINKS and they have no one to stop or intimadate him, that's why he runs through the Bulls every time the two teams play.

  • this game looks more and more like last year's playoffs, bulls need to man up and thug it up, depth equals you can afford to have more guys be agressive. Remember the Horry hip check, you need something like that , especially if the other team is constantly taunting you.

  • Meh, they had an awful shooting night, 2-16 from 3. It happens, you just hope it happens against Charlotte in a game you're going to win anyway rather than against the Heat.

    Bosh being out seemed to help Miami matchup with the Bulls. They actually won the rebounding battle. Plus Bosh doesn't seem to get the Boozer-boost other PFs do. Wonder if that's an adjustment they'll use in the playoffs, limit Bosh's minutes a bit so they can play a more physical front line to match up with what the Bulls have?

  • Hamilton with one assist and 6 points on 1-of-6 shooting. Thank you, missing piece.

    Boozer with another terrible game. He's had one good game out of four against the Heat this year which was basically how he played in the ECF. Deng flaming out when you need him, like the ECF. Noah busting his butt but still not destroying like he should against fourth-string centers, like the ECF.

    Few realistic people expected them to win, and they did keep it pretty close, but those same things which held them back in the ECF clearly reared their heads.

  • Hunter, where the heck have you come from?
    You should be held down and flogged! Did you say "Noah busting his but but still not destroying like he should against fourth-string centers, in the ECF, " are you serious or just a jackass with a hatred for Noah?
    There is no excuse for singling Noah out for criticism. Sometimes I wonder why I waste my time posting on this blog which is dominated by idiots like you. What's your age, idiot?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SlamDunk:

    How did he single out Noah? Seems he went down the list.
    I have an idea SlamDunk, why don't you stop posting your meaningless
    drivel, get a job, or kill yourself?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SlamDunk:

    BY THE WAY, SlamDunk, stop sending me messages asking if I will go out with you! As if!!! ahahahahaha...it's not you I laugh at, it's the size of your dinky!

  • Rip Hamilton is averaging 8 points on 28.5% shooting over the three games he's played against the Heat this season.

    No, I'm not replying to person above me who called Derrick Rose, "Derek Rose," in a post just the other day.

  • fb_avatar

    No matter where we play Miami, home or away, they get the calls more often than not.
    I guess we play the play-offs for a reason, but frankly I don't feel like watching....

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