Revenge and evening the series on their minds, the Miami Heat went to work and early and got the job done quickly. LeBron James did all of his damage and scoring in the first half, leaving some of the best assists we’ve seen this postseason for the very long garbage time, while Ray Allen and others got a chance for the franchise to finish with their biggest playoff win ever.
It ended in a 115-78 win, as the lead hovered around 40 points for most of the fourth quarter. The Bulls simply gave up on the game, or at least on thinking how to win it, in the second quarter, frustrated by the refereeing and by the Miami Heat matching their physicality. It ended with two ejections for the Bulls and a total of nine technical fouls, six of them to Chicago.
But the referees weren’t the ones who decided the game. LeBron James came out in full throttle mode, while the Heat went back to what makes them so good on offense – their ability to run the floor and quick ball movement on offense. They finished with 29 assists, 20 fast break points and 28 points off of Bulls’ turnovers.
The defense? It was fine in the first game, although it looked worn out in the final minutes which allowed the Bulls to make that strong finish and steal the opener. In game 2, there was never a chance. Miami lead by 14 at half time, and it only got worst for the visitors from there.
The big key for Miami was protecting the paint while constantly looking for points in it on the other end. They outscored the Bulls by 38 points in paint-scoring, and kept taking the right shots by constantly pushing the middle. James had a rough time with Butler in Game 1? He simply took it up a notch, and didn’t look to shake off the pesky Bull off of him. He simply ran the weary Butler into the ground, scoring basket after basket between three and four Bulls players, unable to stop him early on, as James went 6-6 from the field during the first quarter.
Hitting shots might sound simplistic, but the Bulls weren’t that efficient defensively for the entire length of the first game. The Heat had plenty of open shots they simply missed. This time, each time Chicago went for a trap or a double team they got punished. On the other end, the quick moving trapping Heat defense was hardly caught off guard after the first quarter, and the Bulls simply gave up on ball movement at some point and starting jacking up tough shot after tough shot, making it quite easy for the Heat to defend the scourge of the offensive rebound and extend their lead.
This wasn’t the real difference between the teams, but there’s no doubt who the better team is. With LeBron James on fire early on, the Heat have a very good chance in every game to make it that unbearable for the Bulls that there won’t be a whiff of a chance to make a comeback. When they’re this good, James doesn’t even have to score points in the second half.