Blog Entry

Playoff Fix: Can Heat eliminate Bulls in Chicago?

Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:08 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 2:42 am
The Miami Heat will attempt to eliminate the Chicago Bulls from the Eastern Conference finals in Game 5 on Thursday night. Posted by Ben Golliver.

One Big Thing:  If a single play defines this series, it's either LeBron James defending Derrick Rose on the final possession of regulation in Game 4, forcing an errant jumper, or Dwyane Wade blocking a Rose runner in spectacular fashion in overtime. Both plays served as excellent reminders of the obvious: when the league's best players commit fully on the defensive end, there's not much anyone can do, not even the NBA MVP. James, Wade and company played excellent defense against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but they've ramped that up at least a full notch, maybe two, against Chicago. The Bulls are averaging just 84 points per game in the last three contests, and unless they get a monster outside shooting night like they had in Game 1 or a super-efficient, high-volume scoring night from Rose, there's not much hope.

The X-Factor: We're past the point of being able to highlight one Bulls reserve as a guy who could step up and make a difference. The Bench Mob got smoked in Game 4. All five Bulls reserved finished with a 0 or worse plus/minus ranking. Taj Gibson, who played just 10 minutes and didn't contribute anything except one rebound and a missed field goal, finished with an astonishing -21. That barely seems possible. At the same time, Miami only went three men deep with its bench yet all three finished with double digit positive numbers in the plus/minus column, none greater than a resurgent Mike Miller, who scored 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting and added nine rebounds, all while keeping thoughts of his ailing newborn daughter in the back of his mind. Miller was an unconscionable +32 in 26 minutes, forming the critical fifth piece in a James/Wade/Chris Bosh/Udonis Haslem lineup that could be the best five-man unit any time will put on the court during the 2011 playoffs. The X-Factor here is simple: The Bulls need to totally flip this script and reclaim their bench dominance, even without injured center Omer Asik. Remember, in Game 1 it was Chicago whose five reserves all finished with positive +/- numbers while all seven of Miami's reserves finished in the red.

The Adjustment: Miami Heat coach is done playing. No more messing around. In Game 4, he played a tight eight-man rotation despite the game going to overtime. He rode James, Bosh and Wade for a combined 133 minutes one game after the trio played 126 minutes combined in Game 3. Spoelstra left wing James Jones totally out of the action in both games and was able to do so because of solid contributions from Miller and Haslem. While Haslem only scored two points on five shots, he rebounded the ball well (nine boards) and played his typical winning brand of basketball. It's no accident that the Heat look great now that James, Wade and Bosh almost never leave the court. The fact that they are able to execute so well late in games speaks to their mental and physical fitness. In some cases, the best adjustments are the most obvious ones: play your stars, a lot.

The Sticking Point: If there's one area of concern for Miami, it's the lack of effectiveness so far in this series from Wade. He's been scintillating at times, using his crossover combinations and reserve spins to get into the lane at ease. His overall offensive numbers, though, are pretty rough. He's shooting less than 40% from the field, averaging just 18.3 points per game and dishing out just 2.3 assists. His scoring and passing numbers are way off his season and postseason averages. While there's been some speculation that he might be playing hurt, Wade has also been defended well by Keith Bogans and Ronnie Brewer. Perhaps even more importantly, both James and Bosh have emerged into more prominent roles during this series. Bosh, in particular, is getting lots of touches and looks because of the extra attention Chicago has paid James and Wade when they have the ball in their hands. A big night from the Chicago native Wade -- it would be his first of the series -- could send the Bulls packing into the offseason.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: May 27, 2011 9:48 am

Playoff Fix: Can Heat eliminate Bulls in Chicago?

goodluck and hope a good series.  Will be at game one and ready Tuesday ;-)

Since: Nov 1, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 7:53 pm

Playoff Fix: Can Heat eliminate Bulls in Chicago?

Well no Miami home cooking tonight. Bulls have their best chance to win tonight. If they go back to Miami, it's back to fighting the refs again. Go Bulls.

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 7:51 pm

Playoff Fix: Can Heat eliminate Bulls in Chicago?

The Chicago Bulls with M.V.P. Rose against the 3 headed monster tonight get the W at home.  The real question is can they win in Miami where the Heat are tough.  Being a Bulls fan since my birth I'm thinking Rose runs for his life tonight with the pterodactyl flying overhead he needs at a minimum 30 tonight.  Oh and a Noah sighting would be nice.  C'mon Bulls you got tonight -

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 7:21 pm

Playoff Fix: Can Heat eliminate Bulls in Chicago?

Wow hate boston&La sounds like your a bit high strung stop crying like a girl about the 06 and now aday officials.To me It sounds like your a little afraid of the Miami Heat and your getting your why we lost  to the Heat in the finals excuse ready please put down the meth pipe and step away from the trailer

Since: May 26, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:54 pm

Playoff Fix: Can Heat eliminate Bulls in Chicago?

Im a celtics fan, we have arguably been the best team in the east over the previous 3 years to this season if not at least top 2. So if any fan has the right to be upset over LeBron, Wade and Bosh teaming up to win championships i think we have a fair case. But seriously guys cant anyone just accept that these guys are great ball players? Lebron is a multiple MVP and Dwade is a Finals MVP. seriously, everyone is upset that they get easy fouls called on them, this is true to an extent but these guys take the ball to the rim just as much as any other player in the league so they have deserved the right to get a call every now and again. No one mentions when the heat are down by two on the last play of a game and DWade got clearly fouled early this year and there was a no call on him. Offense aside these guys are also keeping the bulls to 84 ppg this series so its not like there just getting an easy W from going to the line every possesion, there earning it on D aswell. Im tired of hearing Heat haters carry on saying these guys are not good players. Suck it up, i did. The Heat were better than Boston i say congrats to them.

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:44 pm

Playoff Fix: Can Heat eliminate Bulls in Chicago?

Im glad Im getting under some peoples skin lol. thats a very good thing.thank u for that.

Since: May 25, 2011
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:25 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:10 pm

Playoff Fix: Can Heat eliminate Bulls in Chicago?

It's absolutely mind blowing how fans react every year when their team turns out to be not as good as they thought.  Lets face it, Chicago is a super solid regular season team, but when you have a good defense and the ability to prepare for them in a series, they are no better than good.  Miami is CLEARLY a better PLAYOFF team while Chicago was clearly a better regular season team.   Anybody watching the series can see that.  Wade hasn't even been close to himself this series, yet they are still up 3-1.  

Now that all the Chicago fans, and the Heat haters have seen for themselves Miami is a real pain to deal with and they are not going to back down and die as they thought, it's become all about the refs.  It's laughable.  The Heat and their stars have gotten loads of bad calls against them. 

Lets face it, the Heat were built for the playoffs, and the Bulls were not.  Congrats to Drose for having an amazing season.  Congrats to their coach for taking a team that wasn't favored to do much and bringing them this far, but the reality is the Bulls are not a great playoff team, and definitely not as good as Miami. 

Since: Jun 18, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:53 pm

Playoff Fix: Can Heat eliminate Bulls in Chicago?

The one thing I really don't want to see is Lebron James adavancing to the next round on the bulls home floor. I don't really care if it's in Miami where he can clebrate. I don't want to see him come in and celebrate in the city of micheal Jordan. The bulls need to put every single ounce of energy they have into these final 3 games or else they will get blown off the floor. I should have seen this coming but I am refusing to accept the fact that the team I hate so much could eliminate them. All I can hope for is Rose to dominate the lane, korver to dominate the 3 point line and Noah to dominate the glass. Could be the last time I say this til next year..... GO BULLS

Since: Feb 10, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:38 pm

Playoff Fix: Can Heat eliminate Bulls in Chicago?

Bulls fans...I believe the Bulls are going to lose tonight.  I am sure Stern wants to start the Finals on a Sunday so it works best for the league that the series ends tonight.  Stand by for some quick whistles for LBJ and Wade.

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