Bulls smack Heat's small ball lineup in the face

The much maligned Carlos Boozer came through for the second game in a row. After notching 31 points against Orlando, he helped the Bulls out muscle the Heat with 27 points and 12 rebounds.

Bulls going old school

The Bulls were #1 in the league in offensive rebounding last year, but have fallen to eighth this season. Their defensive rebounding rate has also been down. For one game, the Bulls dominated the glass like they have the past two seasons, and when Chicago can pull down 19 offensive rebounds while giving up a mere four, they're going to be nearly impossible to beat.

You don't need to score so efficiently when you can generate an extra 15 shots more than your opponent by dominating the glass, and the Bulls proved that out shooting a lower percentage from the field and getting to the free throw line less frequently than the Heat as well.

They even survived numerous horrific mental mistakes/dicey officiating which gave the Heat extra attempts from the line, Noah's flagrant foul, Kirk's breakaway foul, Noah fouling Bosh on a turnaround with under a second on the shot clock etc...

Bulls responding to Heat runs

In one stretch in the third quarter the Bulls and Heat both went on offensive binges where they scored nearly every possession, but the Bull included a couple of back to back threes in their stretch and hit an additional shot to build the lead.

The Heat offense then sputtered, and the Bulls went on to win the third period 26-18 giving them a nine point lead entering the fourth.

The Heat cut it down early on Joakim Noah's dicey flagrant (he tried to stop LeBron from driving, grabbed him from around the shoulder and LeBron went down but Noah appeared to try to hold him up and he didn't go down hard at all),

However, even with plenty of help from the refs, the Heat couldn't put together a run to get on top, stop the Bulls from getting second chance points, and couldn't score the ball frequently enough.

Beyond rebounding, the Heat were done in by poor three point shooting of their own. Shane Battier in particularly missed a multitude of wide open three pointers in the second half, and LeBron also struggled from beyond the arc. All in all, the Heat shot just 5-20 from beyond the arc, but they had the shot they wanted frequently.

If Battier knocks down three of five of his wide open threes, the outcome might have been different even with the Bulls dominating the glass. However, their role players let them down, and the Bulls did enough to win.

Are the Heat not so good or not so serious?

Beyond the fact that the Heat probably shoot a bit better from beyond the arc the next time the Bulls play, the game opens up the question: Are the Heat not so good or not so interested?

Prior to this game, they tempted fate in two overtime wins that they easily could have lost. Are the Heat not as talented as I think or are they just trying to stroll through the regular season? I tend to think it's more of the second and that this team will find its focus in the playoffs when it needs it.

Chicago's 6-2 against the Heat in the regular season since the big three came together including two wins without Derrick Rose and a third were Derrick effectively didn't play [he was just returning from injury and was benched for the fourth and played horribly in the game].

Quite frankly, that 6-2 means little relative to the 1-4 while matched up in the playoffs. Miami's stars have played enough regular season games to know that regular season means little. LeBron's captured the regular season crown twice without doing much in the playoffs just like Derrick Rose has now done.

That said, there's nothing so fun as beating the Miami Heat. Maybe Miami isn't playing as hard or serious as they could, but the Bulls just went into their house and smacked them in the face without their superstar.

If I were a Heat fan, I wouldn't care much about the regular season either, but it'd be hard not to be disgusted at times [of course, rooting for LeBron would feel dirty at all times, so maybe an immunity is built up].

Filed under: Game Threads

Tags: chicago bulls, miami heat, nba


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  • Dont look now but Carlos Boozer has now put back to back to back very good games and this last one on as big a stage as possible during the regular season. While he has deserved a lot of criticism he has received, he certainly desrves kudos for coming up big this past week.

  • In reply to takdan:

    Agree, Carlos Boozer went out and got the Bulls two wins in the past two games, one against the Miami Heat. I'm still not amped up about Boozer, still don't think he'll keep it up, but he deserves kudos for playing well recently.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug, I don't think if you go to a Miami Heat blog you would get any support for your cavalier approach to the Bulls win. The Heat got beat up in their own house and they know how good the Bulls are. They also know this loss signals a serious problem they have whenever they face the Chicago Bulls. They know they can't turn it on and turn it off.

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    This same 'problem' didnt occur in the ECF two years ago when we had a muh better team...why would this be any different.

    The Heat just don't hard enough to win in the regular season, and why should they? They were the 2nd seed to the Bulls the past two years and got to the Finals both years.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Does beating Miami make up for losing to Charlotte at home?

    The Bulls are 9-5 on the road, yet only 9-8 at home. If they had the type of home record that a 9-5 road team usually has, say 13-4, or 14 -3, they would have the best record in the east now.

    It is a little hard to say that Bozo went out and got the Bulls 2 wins, when he and many of his teammates faded if not disappeared in both 4rth quarters, and he clearly did not make the key plays that won the game in the 4rth quarters.

    Does the guy who scores the most points win the game, whenever the Bulls actually win that game?

  • Good to look at the score of last night's game and see this Bulls team actually beat the Heat in a of course meaningless regular season game. All I can say is this is what pisses me off about this team and it's owner cause the potential is there for this team to be a contender but the money pinching owner won't invest in his basketball team the way he does his baseball team. The regular season means nothing and I'm sure Miami is just B.S.ing with the rest of the league til the playoff start and they'll pardon the expression...turn on the Heat. But just because this team won last night against the defending champs in their house, sure its a nice win but no bulls fan should be satisfied with this team as constructed cause the big goal is to be able to win like this during the playoffs when being able to score when needed is very critical. I for one am standing by my criticism of this team and its owner because like I've continuously said...this team has the potential to be a title contending team but is not getting the push or shall I say money put into it to be at its best which is being a championship team.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Seems like everything you say is always negative. Hope that's not how you approach life... Sheesh!!!

  • In reply to MJ23ERA:

    You nailed it! Glad to know I'm not the only one with that opinion.

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Thank God we're not stuck with the one-sided views we have to put up with here. At least we can be informed by what Miami thought about the Bulls' superb win by going elsewhere:

  • In reply to MJ23ERA:

    LOL!!!... Im far from being a negative person sir, Im just not a homer Bulls fan thats settleing for what the cheap ass owner is putting on the floor. Like I have stated in the past, the Bulls arent the only NBA team in the league to watch. I like to watch a organizations team that cares about winning and not B. S.ing their fan base about some bogus ass plan for 2 years from now. So with your comment... its expected from a complete home fan such as yourself.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You're not a fan, you're a whore who should get your own blog so you can hammer players you hate likeJoakim Noah. You've been doing that since Noah was drafted by the Bulls, but you've been silenced this year because you can't argue with the stats and the facts.
    By the way, your buddy in negativity as far as the Bulls are concerned, Juiceboxjerry, is still around but he's trolling as "bitsoda" on ESPN.com. You can join him there and spit out your trash.

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    DUDE!!!... Again you have me confused with someone else, Noah is one of my favorite players on this Bulls team. Instead of calling me names, get your facts straight amd get off of Noahs jock. I mean MY GOD... you act like you have a gay mans crush on him or something and no offense to anyone who is gay but this guys MAN CRUSH with Noah is crazy.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I generally agree the Bulls aren't a championship caliber team as built, they also lack the financial commitment to become one. However, it's interesting to see the Thunder go the Phoenix route and trade away an all-star just to save money while they are legit title contenders.

    The Bulls haven't done anything that bad yet.

    That said, despite an owner that isn't as committed as I like, and a roster lacking the scoring power I think they need, I still enjoy watching the games and the players.

    Sometimes in life you have to accept that things aren't perfect and enjoy what you have. I hope the Bulls are able to get pushed over the top one day, but it won't be easy, and I don't see a path from here to there without getting outrageously lucky.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    OKC is a small market team....the Bulls are not.

    That's the difference.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    They have a small market mentality and budget though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yes, but now you're agreeing with what Reese is saying. A big market team not spending money like a big market team can in order to win.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I was never disagreeing with at least that aspect of what he's saying. I've complained about the Bulls lack of spending and blogged about it numerous times.

    I take a different approach as a fan. I still enjoy the team. I don't call them mediocre when they lead the NBA in wins (like Reese has), but I understand where he's coming from.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I wouldnt call them mediocre Doug if they would just play like a contender once the playoffs start and the owner gave a damn about the team. Sorry but it is what it is... a mediocre team and organization with a small market mind set in the third largest market in AMERICA.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    As Bill Clinton might say, that depends on your definition of budget.

    They spend like a team on a small market budget, but their revenues afford them the budget of a large market team, they just chose to allocate it differently than other large market teams.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Despite all the winning, I think OKC could have dealt better with their luxury tax dilemma. Instead of Harden for Kevin Martin and draft picks, how about Harden and Ibaka for Dwight Howard? Or, how about Westbrook for Rondo and expiring contracts?

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  • If boozer can play consistently like this I don't see why we can't beat the heat once derrick returns. Bench will be deep. Bulls just signed a 3 point threat in cook. I really like boozer but for the most part he has done too much talking and not playing consistently well to back it up.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Sure, if Boozer could consistently score near 30 a game, we could do a lot of things we can't do. Of course, if Boozer could consistently score near 30 a game on over 60% shooting from the field he'd be a first ballot hall of famer and one of the top 2-3 players in the NBA.

    There's no point in wondering what could happen if Boozer was consistently playing at a superstar level, because he won't ever do that.

    The best we can hope for is that Boozer has a hot series against Miami in the playoffs when it matters.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug why is it not realistic for boozer to consistently score 20-25 points and 10+ boards a night. He is more than capable!!! Hope boozer get a hot hand?!! No I expect it. Why because he is more than capable of doing it. He is given a free pass by thibs and the FO. He need a fire lit to his behind. Doug u can say that for any playoff series. Gotta hope a player gets hot to unseat a team. Our players need to play up to their capabilities and no get scared under pressure. Wade and lebron didn't score 30 each game their bench if im not mistaken helped win the ship.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    It's not realistic because he hasn't done it dor any stretch of games o er the past 2+ seasons to make us think he could do it for a season.

    Hot hand is for a single game, not 82. Doug said it right, if Boozer or any play for that matter was able to get 20-10 consistently every year, he would be a HOFer.

    Just take a look at this season, the only player averaging 20-10 is David Lee, playing an uptempo small ball strategy with little defense.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    He's averaged over 20 only twice, 5 (21.1) and 6 (20.9) seasons ago. He's no longer in his athletic prime either. If you think he's capable of more, then you and I are in disagreement over Boozer's abilities.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If the Clownzer could play at a superstar level consistently, he would also figure out how to be a positive player on defense, which is mostly desire(and BBIQ) anyway.

    Superstars that win championships or at least get to play for one, are superstars on both ends of the court.

    Conversely, If the Clownzer did indeed score 30 a game, he would be a good if not a great defender, because scoring 30 a game would require a completely different approach to the entire game, an approach which he is incapable of.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    and that is why I don't(can't) get that excited on these rare occassions when the spectator scores a few extra points, nothing about the rest of his game or his approach to the entire game has changed, he just hit upon some fortunate circumstances.

    For anyone who doubts that go back to last nights tape and look at the Lebron dunk to make the game 75-72, a Stacey King poster if there ever was one. It was Nate Robinson who saved the Bulls from that being the turning point from which the Bulls never recovered and lost the game.

  • I know it's a regular season game, but after yesterday's game I really feel no one matches up better with Miami than the Bulls. You might say maybe NYC does but they are so dependent on the 3 which makes it tough on them. If the Bulls have any chance of beating the Heat CBooz is the X factor in a 7 game series. Besides his 27 and 12, the way he was diving to the ground for loose balls, showing aggressively on screen and rolls and going hard to the basket was a big difference in the win. He needs to be that player consistently for the Bulls to have any chance against the Heat. Miami is a team that likes to run screen and roll a lot, but the Bulls can counter that with 2 bigs, Noah and Taj, that can switch and help and most of the time stay in front of the offensive player and quickly retreat back to their original match up in a efficient matter. Offensively, yesterday showed that a more balance attack through motion, high and low action and post play is required against a team that plays the passing lanes so aggressively. In the 2011 playoffs DRose was running to many Pick and roll plays and isolations which made it tough. People can say that Lebron stopped DRose all they want, but it was more the secondary defense that made it tough for Derrick, plus the aggressive traps. Derrick needs to get the ball while moving and make the Defense guess where he is going. The screen and roll became too predictable. I think with the dominant play up front, and a healthy DRose the Bulls can oust this Miami team. Thoughts?

  • In reply to argie2333:

    I don't think the Bulls can beat Miami, Miami shot only 25% from the three point line, the Bulls outrebounded them a bazillion to one, and Chicago still won by single digits.

    It doesn't take much to see that if the Heat just hit 7/20 from the three point line (quite possible given they missed tons of wide open ones) that Miami might have won the game.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug if we r playing the what if game deng missed 2 wide open 3s in the 4th quarter and Marco missed 1 good look at a 3 in the 4th. Not mention some questionable calls by the refs. The game may have not been as close at the end

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Please don't play the 'if the ball bounced out way a couple times' game....it's really ridiculous.

    You say what if Deng and Marco made shots, and the counter would be what if Battier and th other shooters made their shots, and everybody keeps going back and forth in a useless argument.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Hey Doug, I think the Bulls strategy had something to do with the Heats struggle last night. Check out the following article:


    Plus we didn't have DRose

  • In reply to argie2333:

    Yeah I thought that was an interesting take, though even the article noted it likely wouldn't work in a full series.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yes the article did say that but if it leads to Shane battier taking wing 3's and top of the 3's instead of lebron and DWade attacking ill live with that. Getting outrebounded by 20 will have an affect on your championship goal

  • In reply to argie2333:

    I really doubt the Bulls could maintain such a rebounding advantage. They didn't in the playoffs last time. If they could, tehy'd have an excellent chance to win though.

  • @argie I said that about an hour ago. LOL

  • I’m not surprised by last night’s outcome. This is a Heat team that barely beat a Spurs team in Miami minus Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Green, Jackson, and Leonard. This is a Heat team that lost to the 4-win Washington Wizards. I can go on, but you get the idea. As Doug stated in a previous blog, I’ll judge the Heat in the playoffs, after they’re threw dicking around in the regular season.

  • In reply to RichG:

    Yes, I remember noted in the lead up to the game that Heat are capable of laying some serious eggs in the regular season.

    I tend to agree that the Heat are probably content to just go in and win the games they can based on pure talent and not necessarily work all that hard to maximize their regular season win potential.

    They've underachieved in the regular season both of the past two years and made it to the finals twice (winning once) anyway.

  • I'm not going to get over excited until I see consistency when it comes to having great defense and rebounding for most nights. It just hasn't been there this year and Boozer is wildly inconsistent even though he is loaded with talent. Deng seems to be in an offensive funk, shooting a low percentage and lost his touch on the 3ball, Belinelli is in a slump. Loved watching Jimmy Butler, damn do I wish this guy had longer arms and better offense, he's just a player you love to root for. It was a great win, loved seeing the 48 rebounds like last year's team but I want to see that every night and I still think Noah is slowing down from excessive minutes while Gibson needs more minutes to get his confidence going.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I don't think we'll see much consistency with this team without Derrick Rose. I'm pretty excited about an 18-13 record without Rose overall even if the individual effort/talent varies from game to game.

    I thought this was a team trending towards a .500 season, and instead they're playing much better. It will be interesting to see how well Rose integrates back into the team and how ready he is to contribute and on what level.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Jimmy Butler with longer arms and better offense?

    Corey Brewer...after he was on the outs with MINN and NYK, I wanted the Bulls to take a chance on him, but of course they don't.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    agree, I was all over C Brewer a couple of years back when he signed for something close to nothing, like 3 years $8-9 million. He would have been an awesome bench mobber in Thibs system.

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  • Good win against a quality opponent, and it's rare that I do this but I have to tip my hat to Carlos Boozer, he really stepped up. ( though I wonder if Miami being his hometown had something to do with it ) Also it was good to see Noah getting back in the swing of things. We're not going to get too far without him. I'm looking forward to Hamilton being shipped out soon so Belinelli can go back to being a starter, I miss the offense in the backcourt he added. And our newest team member Cook should make things interesting. With Hamilton out and Cook in our team looks to be a lot better and much improved offensively. Once we get Rose back I think we have a good shot at the title this year if we can just overcome the Heat. It will be difficult but it can be done. As we are now no way we can beat the Heat, but with Derrick Rose a lot of things become possible.

  • Daequan Cook is an interesting signing. They say he shoots threes, but his stats don't bowl me over. Maybe the winning enviroment of the Bulls could bring out the best in him.

    I remember him from his college days when with Greg Oden and Mike Conley they led Ohio State to the NCAA final in 2007 where Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer took care of them.

  • Very happy with the Bulls win last night. Yeah, it's the regular season, but it was nice to go into Miami and smack them on their court, without Rose. Boozer played great, and has for the past 2 games. I doubt he can keep this type of production up, but I was so happy to see the effort. He looked like he was actually trying on defense and diving for lose balls and stepping up to block shots. It was far from perfect, but he looked A LOT better than he has. I was happy with the W and it makes me proud to see these Bulls fight every night. That's a lot more than a majority of the other teams can say in the NBA...

  • It was a good win for the collective psyche, although just like Wednesday, the 4rth quarter felt like a choke job was coming, which took some of the fun out of the win.

    However, any realist(and that includes you Doug), knows in their heart of hearts that this Bulls team doesn't stand a chance against the heat in a playoff series(even with Rose), unless Rose comes back from his injury as the second coming of Michael Jordan, and I doubt that anyone foresees that happening.

    Any team that starts Hangdog, the Clownzer, and that stinking pile of shit Hamilton is the veteran version of the Charlotte Bobcats. You really have to give Thib's a ton of credit for getting this kind of record out of this team. Hamilton's defensive effort(lack thereof) rivals Ben Gordon's and Bozo's as among the worst ever.

    Add to that we just lack the ability(talent) to score on a regular basis, especially against a team that can play hellsbells defense when it wants to.

    It felt to me that at just about any point last night, if Lebron had wanted to, he could have taken over the game and won it single handedly, something I assume that he would have done if had been a playoff game.

    Look, I am as happy as anyone that we won last night, but just like our 6-2 regular season record against the Heat in the Big 3 era, I am afraid that it is nothing more than fools gold. Call me a pessimist, I say a brutal realist who wants to see a team that has a chance to compete for the title year in year out.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Hell of a comment sir, that's all I ever try to say about this team.

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