Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat, LeBron and Rose both ready for battle

Any thoughts that the Heat might overlook the Bulls or be focused on ring night can be thrown out the window. The Heat brought out the football pads in a move that may have been a bit melodramatic and designed more for a pre-emptive whine for calls than effective practice method.

LeBron noted "We don't like them, they don't like us," James said of the Bulls after the drill. "It's not unheard of. We all know how it is.". Of course, LeBron is still probably whining about Kirk Hinrich "tackling" him. By tackling, I mean LeBron bowling Kirk over like a freight train and Hinrich grabbing on to avoid would have likely been a massive concussion.

Or perhaps when LeBron threw Mohammed to the floor in frustration while walking down the court, and then Mohammed got up and pushed LeBron who then went flying 10 feet backwards as if he got hit by a wrecking ball. I'm sure he's already been training.

That's the best part about the Bulls / Heat rivalry for me. It brings out my inner meat head just a little bit. It's personal with the Heat. I dislike their theatrics, their flopping, their pansy style of play.

They're basketball evil. The most skilled team in the NBA still trying to cheat the system.

Oh, and yes, I'm a hypocrite. I cheered for Dennis Rodman while he flopped his way to drawing fouls and technicals on opponents that would make me throw stuff at my TV if I were a fan of the other team.

The Heat are evil simply because I'm a Bulls fan, not a Heat fan, but that's a real rivalry for you. The fact that a rivalry this good gets to air on opening night with no pleasantries, no camaraderie between the teams, but instead true, passionate disdain for each other is awesome.

It's great for the NBA. It's great for the fans.

You want some game break down? It's really pretty easy.

These teams have played a crapload of times. The Bulls will try to single team LeBron on the perimeter to entice him into jumpers and hope he's not hot from outside. They'll help down low with their big men. Everyone else gets a single team all game long.

They'll probably leave trap on the double team and leave Bosh open to beat them more times than not. They'll play tough, physical, and annoy the crap out of Miami. The Heat will whine and bitch that the game is too rough, overselling every little bit of contact, because that's what they do.

On offense, the Bulls will search for anything that isn't Derrick Rose and probably not find a whole lot of answers. How close they come to victory will likely hinge not just on whether they knock down their open threes but on whether or not they're quick enough and confident enough on the trigger to take them.

Miami has ridiculous recovery speed on the perimeter, and the Bulls can get caught hesitating on the open shot then never finding another good look before the shot clock winds down.

I don't believe ring night will distract the Heat. They're ready to go. They know what's coming when Chicago walks into the building. They know Derrick Rose has something to prove. They'll be ready. It's probably the perfect way to start the season if they want to break the 72 win record [not sure they do], because this game will get them physically ready.

On paper the Heat should win. On paper the Heat should always win. The game won't be played on paper though, it will be played on the hardwood, and the Bulls have played better on the hardwood against the Heat than on paper.

The results, whatever they are, will trigger an overreaction by fans and the media alike as the first game always takes on more importance when we rush to analyze something real after not having the opportunity to do so for so long.

Derick Rose has waited a year and a half for tonight. Bulls nation has waited a year and a half for tonight. Let's see what they've got.

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  • Rose has been getting to the foul line a lot in preseason. I wonder how many calls he'll get in Miami.

  • A pre-emptive whine for calls... That cracked me up.

  • Doug, I like and respect you, and even though you acknowledge being a hypocrite, it’s silly for your to be whining about another team’s whining, and the season hasn’t even started yet. If you feel Lebron and DWade are influencing the officials, blame the officials, not the players. I don’t blame Noah when I see him crying to the officials.

  • In reply to RichG:

    I'm only half whining about their whining, I'm also whining about their play acting. The fact that both Wade and LeBron fake physical contact and then whine is what really galls me. I don't think Noah has ever in his life pretended to be punched in the face and then winked at the camera afterwards.

    That's one of the reasons it's so fun to hate the Heat. They have the most talent in the league by far, but they're also a bunch of primadonna pansies.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Well said, Doug. The Bulls need to put in on 'em and don't let 'em up. Embarrass the crap out of them after getting their rings and celebrating and posing and flexing and whining to the officials.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    While I’m the first to admit Lebron and DWade tend to be overly melodramatic, I’ve seen a lot of defenders around the league get brushed, and go down like a freight train hit them. The reason you’re singling out Lebron and DWade is because they’re great, high profile, and are the largest obstacle in the Bulls quest for a championship. In an effort to draw a charge, most players in the NBA flop. Isn’t there an anti-flopping rule now? Blame the refs for not calling it. When Jordan used to get every stinkin call, did you complain then? I despised the 90’s Bulls the way you despise today’s Heat.

  • In reply to RichG:

    I have never seen any other player pretend to be hit in the face when they weren't. It's not to say it doesn't happen, and it could definitely be elevated because of who the Heat are, but in my opinion they are the biggest offenders when it comes to faking in the league.

    I also view the anti-flopping rule as a joke. They don't fine anyone anyway, and if they did fining LeBron 10k for flopping isn't going to make up a bad call in a game.

    The Bulls did get plenty of calls, but neither Pippen or Jordan ever flopped, and their free throws per shot attempt were no where near what the Heat generate, so the idea that "the bulls got every call so this is how it works" is sort of a red herring. The Heat have taken that to the next level.

    Again, it's all semantics, I certainly wouldn't be bitching about it if LeBron were on the Bulls and freely admit it.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Like you say, it's all semantics. Let's just enjoy tonight's game, and watch the fans of the winning team overreact, because this truly is just 1 regular season game.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    LeFlop got fined at least once and I believe more last season- they keep a list at NBA Media Central, but last year isn't there now as it already links to the new season. But yeah, 5k or even 10k is nothing to King Flop if it's a crucial call, I'm sure he'd gladly just hand the official the cash and eliminate the middleman if it were allowed....

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    That's an excellent suggestion. I hope LeRing listens to your advice.

  • In reply to RichG:

    Jordan may have gotten a lot of calls, but I don't recall flopping or cry babying to be a part of his game. The game especially the way that it was played against Jordan was exponentially more physical than it is today. The crap that the Pistons, Knicks and even the pacers did against Jordan and Pippen and Grant would get a player banned for life in today's NBA. Heck it would get a player banned for life in todays NFL.

    There is simply no comparison and doing so only proves bias or ignorance.

  • Turnovers, the Bulls have to keep miami out of transition or else it will be a long night. Deng, Boozer should focus on ball security along with Rose and Noah. Dunleavy has done well against Miami as a buck, we'll see what he has this time around. He could be that x factor in the Bulls match up against the champs. Butler being the other x factor.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Agree, the Heat are unstoppable in transition, the Bulls definitely need to control turnovers.

  • The Heat, while the best team in the NBA, have never lived up to their ability on paper. Maybe that's why they whine and flop like soccer players.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I would agree with you (that Heat had fallen short of expectations) if they hadn't recovered Game 6. But repeat NBA Championships, 3 straight Finals appearances, and that 27 game winning streak - that's living pretty large.

    Not saying I like the Heat. I can't stand their character (or lack). But who could ask for much more than what they've accomplished in their 3 years together.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Given the makeup of the team, they probably should have three rings, but it's hard to really fault them for only having two. That's still a pretty sweet haul.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Everyone, including the Heat, expected the Heat to breeze to 3 Finals. They've breezed to 1 and lucked into another. That's falling short.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    If we're all honest with ourselves, you have to have some luck on your side to win any championship, just ask last years Ravens. I think that we can find a game/moment in all 6 of the Bulls championship runs where luck interceded on their behalf. Thats part of the reason why Patrick Ewing and the rest of the Knicks could never admit that the Bulls were just better than they were.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Being from Miami(South Beach) maybe they are really soccer players masquerading as NBA players, at least in the eyes of their fans.

  • "They're basketball evil. The most skilled team in the NBA still trying to cheat the system."

    Spot on Doug! My hatred for this team has always stemmed from them attempting to cheat system. The big 3 came together because they thought they could waltz to championships without much competition, thus bypassing the whole purpose of the NBA and competitive sports - stupid poop heads.

  • "We can't get bored this year and get caught up in our greatness." - D.Wade

    Thibs should put this quote up in the locker room before every game - not just against the Heat. Every game.

    Bulls are on a mission this year from what it sounds... Rose back... Going up against ring night and these floppers from Miami... Nobody giving the Bulls a shot when probably have as good a shot as any, including Miami, if healthy. Big "if", but everyone has injuries.

    Chicago generally jumps on Miami early. I look for more of the same tonight. Hopefully they can keep piling on all game instead of letting them back into the game as they usually do.

  • In reply to Granby:

    That should be on every teams bulletin board this year before they play the Heat. What a douche. I wonder, has Wade officially surpassed Isaiah as the biggest pansy from the streets of Chicago.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    D-Wade has really become D-Bag. Too bad because he's a Chicago guy and really a great player.

  • 31-5 run once Deng/Butler get in foul trouble. I think this is one of those times when you have to say to hell with foul trouble, if guys foul out in the first half then you live with it, you need those guys out there to have a chance.

  • Someone needs to tell this Bulls team that the season has started and to find their one dimentioal offense. I know its game one but so much for their undefeated preseason.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Where's Nate and Marco when this Bulls team need both...oh yeah they let both guys go for Dunleavy. But hey it's just game one, good luck with the offense the rest of this game.

  • They're getting pwned.

  • Deng sucks, lebron and wade scored easily on him in the post back to back. I can't wait to see Deng leave or get traded.

  • Deng sucked on offense, but the Bulls were +6 when he was in the game and -18 in the 18:32 he was on the bench. I have no clue how, though?

    They were +10 in Jimmy's 29:55. He played like a true All-Star tonight, if Rose shows up on offense, we win despite our horrible shooting and defense.

    Boozer was our offense (until Jimmy late), and he even played great defense for the most part- and not one compliment. An A+ to lots of folks for consistency, though.

  • I'll just leave a couple thoughts like a few people are doing.

    * Rose and Noah were rusty
    * Gibson disappeared
    * Hinrich is going to be scrappy all year but not give us as much as Nate would
    * Jimmy beasted
    * Deng isn't a three-point threat anymore. Period.
    * Boozer's big night didn't matter
    * I hate Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Shane Battier, and Udonis Haslem the most.

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