Will Miami Heat snap the Chicago Bulls funk?

Will Miami Heat snap the Chicago Bulls funk?

Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? However, the Bulls haven't been lacking from offensive execution recently. They've lacked defensive execution. A sign that they simply aren't playing with the focus and determination that we've come to expect from the team.

In other words, the mental hump has hurt them as much as the talent loss. The Miami Heat will out-talent the Bulls by a million tonight, but Chicago has fought the Heat particularly well despite that talent gap at times.

They've effectively defeated the Heat three times in the past two seasons without Derrick Rose including the 33 game streak ender which the Heat desperately wanted to win.

That said...

Odds are this gets ugly. Now, I've said that before each of those other Bulls wins without Rose, but the Bulls don't have a Nate Robinson or John Lucas to generate points for them this time. They're entirely down to systematic offense, and the Heat can dismantle system offenses.

Without anyone to create something out of nothing and get hot against Miami, it will be extraordinarily difficult to get much done at all. On top of that, the Bulls are still missing Jimmy Butler, their best hope to defend LeBron. Luol Deng always does a solid job of forcing tough shots for LeBron, but LeBron [i]always[/i] scores through Deng's defense anyway.

It's like he sees Luol Deng and his shooting percentage goes up 10% despite the tough defense.

Beyond that, the Heat are coming off a loss, so any potential lapse in focus will likely be gone. Given I'm openly rooting for the lottery, Miami coming to town is a pretty good deal. Can we schedule another 20 games against the Heat this season?

Things to watch

I'm excited to see Tony Snell in this game. I want to see how he defends Wade [assuming he plays] and LeBron. I assume he'll get a shot at both. Snell's played better lately and has shot the ball pretty well.

However, we also thought he'd become a plus defender in the NBA. Here's a good chance to see the early returns. Back in Butler's rookie season when he wasn't doing anything on offense, he still made his name with his defense on Carmelo Anthony. I think Snell has a chance to do something similar against the Heat.

Marquis Teague is almost out of rope. The tank commander might be facing his last chance to ever do something with the Chicago Bulls. After Mike James is back, Teague will likely be sent down to the D-League again, so he knows he's got to make something positive happen in the next week or two to prove to the Bulls brass they should keep him around.

Doesn't seem all that hopeful given how over-matched Teague has looked so far, but despite him being fairly lousy, I don't think he's -7 PER lousy. I expect Teague to start to come around a bit. Enough to convince management to keep him around? Probably not.

What will Joakim Noah do? The dude hates Miami with a passion. I just expect something interesting from Jo tonight.

Could be tough to watch

Though I'm rooting for losses, I still like to see the team play reasonably well and avoid blowouts. That doesn't look likely tonight. I suspect this one will be painful.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: chicago bulls, miami heat, nba

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  • Snell defending James? Good luck with that.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    yea, that was my first thought too. Snell might have a snowballs chance in hell against Wade, but he is simply to small/slight of build to go up against James. Butler may not be the incredible hulk, but he is bigger and better built than Snell, which is why we all think that Jimmy is a nautural small forward and Snell a natural 2 guard.

  • So sad. I really would have been fired up for this one. I, too, am hoping for a high lotto pick. It's tough to root for the Heat, however. Just against my DNA.

    (I won't even buy a Samsung phone because LeBron is so annoying with those stupid adds with his kids. So, I spent a few extra bucks and got the new Apple...)

    So, I probably won't watch too closely. I kind of hope Miami just crushes the Bulls by 30, but Deng looks good, so that GarPax wakes up and makes a trade.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Unfortunately for you, it would probably have the opposite effect. If Deng plays well, Bulls management would be more inclined to keep him.

  • In reply to RichG:

    No not unfortunate dude, the Bulls really need to trade Deng. It's time for the Bulls to get more talented, athletic, and younger. The Bulls have Butler and now Snell to rsplace Deng if he is indeed traded. The Bulls still need a shooting guard and a possible trade of Deng could bring in that SG that the Bulls so desperately need. I'm not really for the tanking either but at this point, this bulls team needs some new blood on its roster in the very near future whether it be at the trade deadline or next years draft. Rose will ultimately need some help carrying the offensive load if he can continue to do that when he does return next year. But the Bulls keeping Deng would be a huge mistake imo, it's time to move on from him.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And i would rather see the Bulls beat Miami tonight even tho i wont watch that much and make a trade for a player like afflalo from Orlando. Im sure if the Bulls sweetened the deal that Orlando may be all in for Deng and another asset.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Stephen A Smith has been pretty much spot on when it come to the big name NBA guys moving on to other teams and on hoopshype.com he's saying Melo is gone and he's not staying with what's going on in N.Y. I know he's probably on his way to L.A. if he does leave the Knicks but the Bulls should definitely look into this situation.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Bulls will not touch non-winner-Melo and his massive $20 million salary, nor should they. He does not affect winning.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Completely agree it's time to move Deng but he's not bringing back any young, athletic shot creators, definitely not the SG that the Bulls need. No one is giving up a future star SG for a borderline, fading star on an expiring contract.

    I'd be thrilled if they can get even a late-first rounder for him that could be turned into a depth player, but I do agree that it needs to happen ASAP so they can lose more games this year.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    there are teams out there like cleveland and sacramento that need veteran leadership and a two way pro like Deng would be a perfect fit for them in trying to change the losing culture. The Bulls could trade Deng but I feel they probably don't want to piss off Thibodeau, very short sighted. Deng is valuable, Noah is valuable, Boozer is......well, he's a big amnesty waiting to happen.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    So you think those teams would give up a future star to the Bulls for Deng, but the Bulls FO won't do it because they are too short-sighted?

    If you really think that, you're so biased against the FO you have lost all objectivity.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Isn't it amazing how many people will tell you that the Bulls should get rid of Deng because he's going to be overpaid on his next contract, but they expect other teams to be fighting over the right to trade something valuable for him- even though he's going to be a Free Agent this summer.

    It just shows how much people just want to find some reason to bash the FO. But then they know that other teams WANT to give the Bulls a great trade, which is what that poster says they want.

    They accuse the FO of overvaluing their players, but expect a ransom for these same crappy players in a trade. It's comical.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    not a future star but a good rotation player like a ben gordon type dion waiters. Deng is a very good player that could help a borderline playoff team. Perhaps the Pelicans would want Deng for Tyreke Evans, something along those lines are doable for a team loaded with guards and needing an upgrade at small forward. Deng has value even if he's an expiring deal.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Those teams need more than veteran leadership!

    Sactown will not trade a 1st for Deng (They have a legit shot at a top 3 pick based on how bad they are) and they have nothing else of use.

    Cleveland had high hopes, but I think now that they are in full tank mode... at least they should be. What's another year of the lottery for them? At least it's a stronger draft than the last few years where they have mostly struck out.

    Deng will go to a team out west that will make the playoffs. So, at best, the Bulls will get a late 1st. And, they will tank better with no Deng.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Roman, you and Doug are putting yourself in extreme danger by even hinting that Deng isn't the 3 best small forward in the game today, and destined for the HOF. You are begging to be assualted with an irrational/irrelevant stat filled rant of pure hatred from Skip "Napoleon" Bayless of Paducahville.

    You are probably not aware of this but, he is a 2 time reigning allstar and 1 time 2nd team all defense, how dare you suggest that he is borderline and fading, be afraid, be very afraid, someone is about to call you an idiot or worse.

  • I don't know if any of you guys say this article on comcast about the recovery odds on meniscal repairs. Apparently it is not a 100% certainty. This doctor, who had nothing to do with Rose's treatment puts the odds at 80%.

    http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/why-derrick-roses-meniscus-tear-might-not-heal-100-percent

  • YaAll

    I sure feel a lot of disgust in the tone of many of the comments here..,and its growing. I have had to take a step back myself, try to assess my feelings, gather some hope, and establish an objective for this year. After the triple overtime loss, things sort of clarified a bit, for me.

    1--We don't have a point guard who can distribute the ball AND score points by outside shooting and getting to the basket with some consistency . Kirk is a very, very inconsistent outside scorer who also cant get to the basket.

    2--I'm just guessing here, but Noah is having a battle in his mind overcoming the loss of Rose, and all that means(absolutely no chance at a title, this year). The result is an inconsistent effort. He may be consciously trying, subconsciously, he knows Bulls will be one and done, at best, in the playoffs)

    3--Boozer, like Noah, is mentally down + Taj is making him a second banana at PF. A double punch he has to try and overcome.

    4--Either our D is way down because Jimmy is gone..,or, we have lost our will---don't have a prize in sight for this year--and our days as a D-team are over. (I'm buying its because Jimmys gone.., but when Kirk gets his next injury, and the wait for Noah to be a full time energizer again, I'm not as sure as I once was.)

    Hopes, and SOON.

    1---Thibs can sell the team on a playoff bid...,get their minds right(Hard sell, very hard)

    2---Some kind of trade which includes an upgrade at PG who can drive and score on a moderate basis.

    3--The trade involves Boozer.., not necessarily Deng. ( A feat for which I will bow down to Gar/Pax forever)

    4--Snell continues to improve.. and gets the steady minutes to prove it.

    Comments????

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    Agree with your assessment of what's going on, but not the remedies. Here's what I hope instead:

    1 - Thibs talks about preparing and playing the same way, but gives minutes to rookies.

    2 - Some kind of trade which downgrades us at SF, namely Deng.

    3 - Any move involving Boozer's departure. If we could get some towels or air pumps or something in return, that would be nice, asking for actual basketballs might be too much.

    4 - Agree about Snell.

  • As far as Deng's future, he would be a better fit for Miami than Battier is right now. He has the inside game which would make the Heat almost unbeatable.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    You've must be joking, or else you've completely neglected to examine the financial side. Battier is a savvy veteran and decent 3-point shooter on a $3 million salary. Miami is deep into the luxury tax and wouldn't touch Deng's salary demands. Unlike the Bulls, Miami doesn't give 8-figure contracts to players who are not true stars.

  • In reply to Edward:

    OK. Would you believe Orlando?

  • Of course the Bulls beat the Heat. The one team (at least during the regular season) when I think Thibs "we have enough" is actually true.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Yes, yet another meaningless regular season win against Miami. ho-hum.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Yeah, hooray, just what this team needed (that and Rose's "possible" playoff return) to go into "little team that could" mode yet again... Let's hope it's just a tanking hiccup.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I hope too. Problem is Bulls have a really weak schedule coming up the next half-dozen games. Some Ws could quickly ruin the Bulls 2014 draft pick - all for a few meaningless cheap thrills like we experienced last season.

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