Muck the Game Up
The Heat are at their best when they force live ball turnovers that lead to fast break points. They held the Heat to nine fast break points in game one.
Limit their Three Pointer Shooters
The Heat finished second in the NBA in three point shooting at 39.2 percent this season. In game one, the Heat connected on only 7-24 (29.2 percent). Lebron James, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen were 5-19 combined.
Crash the Boards
The Bulls were the NBA’s seventh best rebounding team with 51.8 per game, while the Heat finished last with 46.6. The Bulls outrebounded the Heat 48-32 in game one. Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah had 14 and 11 rebounds respectively. Only James with eight really hit the boards for Miami
Let LeBron Get His
James is at his best when he is able to facilitate for his teammates thus forcing the defense to give him more openings. He scored 24 points on 8-17 from the floor and 7-9 from the free throw line in Game one. His teammates combined for 62 points on 23-61 from the floor. Dwyane Wade was their only other double figure scorer with 14.
Continue to Play Thibs Defense
Tom Thibodeau is one of the few coaches in the NBA that is able to preach defense first and get his players to buy into it. The Bulls have been one of the NBA’s best defensive teams during his three years at the helm.
In the regular season, the Heat shot .496 against the Bulls. In game one they made just 39.7percent of their shots. Jimmy Butler’s continued outstanding coverage of the King will also be important. If the Bulls get Hinrich and/or Deng back it will provide the Bulls with one or two more of their best defensive players.
The Heat were well below their season averages offensively against the Bulls in game one. Continuing to frustrate the Heat offensively will continue to pay dividends on both ends of the court.