Blog Entry

3-on-2 Fast Break: Bulls vs. Heat

Posted on: January 27, 2012 1:37 pm
Posted by EOB

LeBron matched against Rose could be the most interesting matchup in Bulls-Heat. (Getty Images)

3-on-2 Fast Break is a weekly feature here on Eye on Basketball where our intrepid bloggers tackle two questions, comparing two elements. This week, we focus on Sunday's showdown between the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat. Follow Eye on Basketball on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

1. Heat-Bulls on Sunday, and Luol Deng wants to try and play. Considering the long-term goals of the Bulls, shouldn't they at least not rush him back into a game versus, you know, LeBron James?

Ben Golliver: I'm not going to play doctor, but I'm in the "better safe than sorry" crowd this season, especially as we've seen other coaches use extra caution in sitting their players and/or extending the timelines until they return. The Bulls are in a position, given their record and their talent base, where this isn't anything approaching a must-win. Follow the trainer's advice, don't push it and exercise an extra measure of caution. There are no statement games in late-January this season. This should be a relatively simply risk/reward calculation.

Royce Young: If you're healthy and CAN play, I say you play. It's one game and it really doesn't mean a lot in the grand scheme, but as long as you're not risking long-term damage or something, go for it. It's the type of thing where if Deng re-injures it playing 46 minutes against the Heat, everyone will blame Thibodeau for rushing things back. But these guys want to play, especially in marquee games like that. How are you really going to tell Deng to take it easy if he's ready and willing to go?

Matt Moore: Deng's toughness is admirable. But the Bulls have a goal of a championship and there's no reason to throw out Deng against one of the most physical covers in the league just to try and win a regular season game. It may make them feel better to get a win against the Heat after the kick in the pants Miami gave them in the Conference Finals, but not if it winds up keeping Deng out longer. The shortened schedule is already forcing them to play Derrick Rose with that toe injury which sounds like it hurts like all get out, and they may or may not be short Taj Gibson. Finally the Heat aren't the team with injury issues.

2. What's the matchup to keep an eye on?

Golliver: Eddy Curry continuing his revenge tour against his old teams, of course. I'm expecting double-doubles against both New York on Friday and Chicago on Sunday and I'm not talking about In-and-Out Burgers. But, really, Rose versus the Heat's defense is the match-up. He left the Eastern Conference Finals with a taste in his mouth and he made it clear this week after the Pacers game that he's taking names and making a mental list of those who slight him. How that plays out after LeBron James decided the East Finals by locking him up will be must-see TV.

Young: Derrick Rose vs. LeBron James. That defensive switch really made all the difference in the playoff series last year. LeBron completely shut down Rose's ability to penetrate and because of his size, Rose couldn't even settle for a clean jumper over him. The addition of Richard Hamilton is supposed to help with taking a little of the stress off Rose in those circumstances, but this game will come down to the stars making plays. Will it be LeBron or Rose? Unfortunately for Rose, he's going to have to do it with big No. 6 in front of him.

Moore: Carlos Boozer vs. Chris Bosh. Bosh shocked some people by coming through huge for the Heat in this series, and he's off to an even better start this year. He's figured out where to fit in the Miami offense and he's been more aggressive for once. Boozer's Boozer. He's going to get his but how he plays defensively will be a bit more important. The Bulls can't afford for two of the Big 3 to get going. Wade may be shaky coming back from injury, and who knows how LeBron James will respond in a big game like this after the last six months. But if Bosh gets it going, that's going to create havoc for Chicago, especially with Taj Gibson possibly out or not at 100 percent.

Since: Oct 29, 2010
Posted on: January 29, 2012 2:04 pm

3-on-2 Fast Break: Bulls vs. Heat

The key to this game and any other game with the Heat is to stop King James. Without Deng at full strength, the Bulls will not stop him. This game means much less than the playoffs, but a healthy Deng is the key to getting past the Heat at the end of the season.Bulls need to play good defense to win because they will not beat Miami running up and down the court.

Since: Apr 6, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:24 pm

3-on-2 Fast Break: Bulls vs. Heat

I am referring to zonetwlite, by the way.

Since: Apr 6, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:23 pm

3-on-2 Fast Break: Bulls vs. Heat

I hope you are new to the game of basketball because that was one of the most ignorant comments I've ever read online. 

Since: Apr 6, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:26 pm

3-on-2 Fast Break: Bulls vs. Heat

Are you being serious right now? That is one of the most clueless comments I've ever seen. I'm not going to deny that Lebrin is the most TALENTED player, but how can you call him the best when he is next to nothing in the fourth quarter? Second, Derrick rose is the best gaurd in the NBA right now. Kobe is probably the most clutch in the league, but rose is right up there and is the most athletic as well. He can easily put a team on his back, hence why he's the MVP. Third, that thibodeau comment is crazy. Why would he coach high school for his style to work better when he just took the bulls to the best record in the league last year, not to mention the best defense (which is his exact style)? He also won this little award called coach of the year. Get your facts straight.

Since: Mar 5, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 10:28 am

3-on-2 Fast Break: Bulls vs. Heat

You are funny crying about refs since The Bulls play football every game. Lebron is the best player in the world, Rose is only the third or forth best gard in the league. The Heat own the bulls when it counts so get used to it cry baby. TT should be coaching high school in indiana where his style would work much better.

Since: Oct 11, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 9:25 am

3-on-2 Fast Break: Bulls vs. Heat

Double doubles from Eddy Curry qagainst NY and Chicago? Nice prediction considering he doesn't have a combined double double for the season!  How do you guys even have jobs?

Since: Dec 28, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 3:04 am

3-on-2 Fast Break: Bulls vs. Heat

I think the Heat are going to pull away with the win on Sunday. We all saw what happen in the playoffs last year. Yes the bulls won the first game but once everyone realized that the bulls just handed the ball off to rose each time the heat shut the bulls down.

Since: Dec 3, 2009
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:47 pm

3-on-2 Fast Break: Bulls vs. Heat

Cute conspiracy theory.

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2012 5:20 pm

3-on-2 Fast Break: Bulls vs. Heat

If the refs wouldn't let James body Rose to slow him down off the dribble there would be no way James could guard him...Rose is WAY too quick with his first step for James to guard straight up. Time and time again James committed blocking fouls last year in the playoffs and the refs let him get away with it. If the refs make the calls, Rose wins that matchup.

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