When these two met back in March of the regular season a lot was on the line, but this time around even more was at stake. I won’t go as far as saying the Bulls will win this series, but I will say they seem to have some type of formula that seems to slow Miami down. I will also say that they’ve successfully done something essential to winning a playoff series when you’re the lower seed, and that’s take a game on your opponents home court. This victory wouldn’t be as big of a deal had it been any other team in the playoffs who had home court advantage, but this is the Heat we’re talking about here. The defending world champions, and the best team of the NBA regular season. If I had to put money on any team defending their home court in this years playoffs, without a doubt that team would’ve been the Heat, and I’m sure most NBA fans would be in agreement with me. So you see, this is a big deal–a big deal for the morale of the Bulls going forward that now gives the Heat a chance to show the world why they are the best team in the league.
So with that said, what did the Bulls do to sneak one in Miami? That’s quite simple: they did what the Bulls always do and played physical.
The Heat started out flat scoring only 15 points. Now, we know what the Bulls are capable of defensively as they are 3rd in points allowed, but Miami had some good looks. Problem was they just couldn’t get them to go down. Considering the fact that the Heat haven’t played since last month, the rust was evident. However, a team with Miami’s capabilities and the league’s MVP in LeBron James can’t afford to come out that flat in the playoffs which was one of the deciding factors in this game.
As for the Bulls, I won’t take any credit from them. The question going into the game was “can Chicago put up enough baskets to win this game?” Due to the heroics of both Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler, the answer to that question, at least in game 1, was yes. Nate Robinson lead the charge with 27 points and Butler had 21. Combined, Butler and Robinson’s efforts accounted for over half of the teams points. Late down in the 4th quarter with a little under four minutes left, Butler came through with a clutch 3 pointer for the bottom of the court, giving the Bulls a 81-80 lead. At that point the Bulls never looked back as they went on a 10-0 run in the last two minutes of the game.
The end result was a 93-86 victory for the Bulls. James finished with 24 and Wade finished with 14. Aside from their contributions on offense, the rest of the Heat’s figures were staggering. Thus, the result is an 86 point game.
I’ve always said,when the leagues MVP puts up less than 25 points (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing on his part) you have a chance. In addition, when the rest of his starting teammates (other than Wade) put up less than that, you REALLY have a chance. Chicago simply took the chance and ran with it. Hats off to the Bulls, though they’re far from being out of the woods. If anyone can bounce back and come from this deficit, it’s LeBron James and the Miami Heat. That being said, stay tuned folks, because this looks to be a good one!
Game 2 of the series is Wednesday at American Airlines Arena at 7:00 PM (ET)