You could tell from the start it was going to be a big night. From the second LeBron James touched the ball and got booed by 23,000 fans in another United Center sell out. Miami’s defense was too much for the Bulls in the first half, especially in the first quarter. Didn’t matter.
The Heat, in order to win, against the big teams, and Chicago is a big team, a title contender right up there with the Celtics and the Heat in the East, need all three to be there. Bosh just didn’t show up. A 1-18 shooting night, the worst shooting performance with that number of attempts since 1973 won’t get you anywhere in the playoffs. Even if Wade scored 34 and LeBron James goes for 29 and a triple double (10-10). Don’t get me wrong, I think Wade-LeBron can win plenty of games by themselves, but not a 7 game series against the Celtics or the Bulls. Maybe even Orlando.
For the Bulls, the Noah-Boozer combo down low still has a long way to go, but it looked good defensively. A major reason as to why Bosh has such a hard time getting points on the board last night. When (if) the both click, that’s one hell of a front court on both ends, and that will help spread the court for Rose, Deng and Korver even more.
Speaking of Rose and Deng: The leading candidate for MVP (judging by the buzz around the league, not my choice), Derrick Rose had a slow start, but finished with 26 points on a night he probably tried to do too much alone for a big part of the game until finally realizing he has guys to play with. His dish to Deng (20 points), hitting the three that made it 92-89 while Wade decided to help on Rose won the game, 93-89 final score.
On two final notes – I don’t see Bosh having a terrible night like this again, but still – the Heat have been struggling this season against the Celtics and the Bulls. And one last excuse note – Mike Miller didn’t play. He hasn’t played in a lot of games this season, but he’s a major part of the future playoff success for the Heat.