While there is a chance that the Chicago Bulls might have found the recipe to do what seemed impossible until a few days ago – beat the current Miami Heat team in a seven game series, there’s also the option of them awaking a slumbering dragon that didn’t win so many games during the second half of the season on sheer luck alone, and has responded quite well to being behind in a series over the last couple of seasons.
In short? The Bulls were physical all across the board, on both defense and offense, and wore down the Miami Heat, who probably had too much rest, which happens quite often to sport teams that lose their edge when not playing for too long a time. Looking at some of the numbers from the first game, there’s a good chance some of them won’t be coming back to haunt the Heat 48 hours later.
One of the things that seemed to surprise many was how badly the Heat were shooting, even wide open shots early on, failing to make the most of the chances the Bulls were giving them. The Heat ended up shooting 39.7% from the field, their worst shooting game all season long, while a bad night from the line (17-25) added to their troubles offensively.
Nate Robinson scoring 27 points was another thing no one really accounted for. He erupted in the final quarter and put averaging 9.6 points in 25 previous appearances against Miami behind him. Robinson works in a different rhythm and world than the rest of the NBA, but not being able to handle the smallest player and most unexpected of them on the court was a punishment the Heat never rebounded from, not to mention their poor rebounding (losing 32-46), although that gap can be mostly explained for their bad shooting. The Bulls grabbed nine offensive rebounds to Miami’s 7.
In short? Such a bad performance from Chris Bosh and the rest of the Miami Heat can’t be on the cards one more time. At some point, Robinson is going to start missing shots. The Bulls not having a real point guard is going to cost them, and there is no way Jimmy Butler can continue playing at the intensity he has without resting for a single second. At some point, guarding LeBron James has to take its toll, and the Miami Heat need to move the ball quicker to take advantage of mismatches that are bound to show up along the way.
Predictions – The Bulls winning in the series opener seems like an abnormality. Yes, they made the Heat look bad, but Miami had plenty of opportunities to win the game even while playing so bad. Such an occurrence can’t and won’t happen again, as the two team will travel back to Chicago tied at 1-1.