Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Blog Entry

Heat-Bulls: The dream matchup is set

Posted on: May 13, 2011 1:30 am
Edited on: May 13, 2011 8:41 pm
America gets its dream Eastern Conference finals matchup: The Miami Heat vs. the Chicago Bulls. Posted by Ben Golliver.

The 2011 Eastern Conference finals are about to be sliced and diced into pieces, broken down to the most minute detail, but as the Chicago Bulls blew out the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night to advance to face the Miami Heat, the instant take for any basketball fan should have been pure glee. This is the dream matchup. This is exactly who everyone -- especially those who have been watching over the past few months -- wanted to see.

Toss aside the "Good" vs. "Evil", "Humble" vs. "Egocentric" and "Balanced Team" vs. "Superstar Triad" dichotomies, if only for tonight. Take a second to realize that not only are arguably the three most exciting, dynamic, athletic players in the NBA sharing the court, but that two of the top five or so defenses will be out there too. 

In the regular season, Chicago sported the No. 1 defense and the No. 12 offense. In the playoffs, they've had the No. 2 defense and the No. 5 offense. In the regular season, Miami posted the No. 3 offense and the No. 5 defense. In the postseason, Miami has had the No. 3 offense and the No. 3 defense. In the regular season, Chicago led the league in rebounding while Miami was third; in the postseason, Chicago remains No. 1 and Miami has improved to No. 2. 

Chicago led the league in wins (62); Miami was third (58). This is a matchup of elite teams, groups that have played both sides of the ball well since the season started and are peaking at the right time. Consider: Chicago went 8-0 in April while Miami was 6-1. In the playoffs, Chicago is 8-3 while Miami is 8-2. In other words, over the past six weeks Chicago is 16-3 while Miami is 14-3. That's one loss per week -- combined -- for a month a half. 

One final plus: Both teams enter the series healthy, or as healthy as can be expected in mid-May. 

Each team has a guard the other has no answer for: Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade. Each team has an inconsistent power forward who is a national lightning rod: Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh. The Bulls' vaunted defense will surely be tested by LeBron James, but Miami's weak bench will be pushed to its limit by the Bench Mob. 

There's a fair argument to be made that these are the best two teams remaining in the playoffs and the difference between the two teams is razor thin. Hell, even their basketball operations departments tied in the Executive of the Year voting.

Upsets are nice, and it's great theater to watch crumbling dynasties and players melting down. But excellent basketball trumps all of that. It could get physical, it will likely be more defensive-minded and less highlight-driven than we might expect, but this series will deliver excellent basketball.

(And we need that after suffering through the Atlanta Hawks.)

Since: Sep 15, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2011 11:43 am

Heat-Bulls: The dream matchup is set

Let's grab the bull by the horns. Go Heat!!!

Since: May 4, 2011
Posted on: May 13, 2011 9:00 am

Heat-Bulls: The dream match-up is set

bulls vs heat

the grounded vs the arrogant.

heat may have 2(possibly 3) of the 5 best players in the world and bulls only 1(possibly 2), but when  executing designed plays and consistent defense and rebounding(regular season and post season) bulls have done better.

lebron and wade are lethal combination but d-rose and the sum of the bulls parts are much more so....

when the game is on the line, daBULLS is perfect as evidenced during the regular season: jan 15, 2011-bulls 99,  heat 96, chgo
                                                                                                                               feb 24, 2011-bulls 93,  heat 89, chgo  
                                                                                                                               mar  6, 2011-bulls 87,  heat 86, miami
of course this is the post season now and there is a difference as evidenced by the magnificent plays of the current heat  but heat did it to an aging celtic team w/ injuries to key players.......

Since: Apr 6, 2011
Posted on: May 13, 2011 7:48 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2011 7:01 am

Heat-Bulls: The dream match-up is set

'even their basketball operations departments tied in the Executive of the Year voting. '

Actually no.  Gar Foreman had 11 votes.  Pat Riley had 11 votes.  Paxson had 3 votes.  Since Gar Foreman and Paxson are in the Bulls basketball operatopns department, its 14 votes vs 11 votes.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2011 3:26 am

Heat-Bulls: The dream match-up is set

Not so fast, please. Coming into the playoffs nearly every media pundit proclaimed the Lakers the winner. Dallas dispatched those same Lakers in four games having come together in a tough first=round matchup with Portland. Watching Dallas now against either Miami or Chicago would lead the viewer to be more worried about Dallas than either Chicago or Miami. Of course the Western matchup of Dallas and OKC is going to be great basketball as well. Right now two more of the best offensive players will be featured in Dirk and Kevin.

Yet you are right that the Chicago vs Miami matchup will test the spurned against the victors in the Bosh & James recruitments. Chicago thought they were the one team able to offer veteran winners to surround both. Of course Miami offered Dwyane Wade to team with the two and history is supposed to be made, Don't count me as a LeBron or Heat hater (not their fan either). I am simply facinated to see how this will play in year one. I am hoping Rose's ankle remains healthy throughout the rest of the playoffs.

Anyone remembering the high-flying days of Magic and Larry and Mike can start to salivate as the league is returning to a superstar team league providing great basketball in the playoffs. Celtics and Lakers are history! Bring on the new.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2011 2:56 am

Heat-Bulls: The dream match-up is set

This assessment is pretty spot on.

While I am a Bulls fan, and I do hope that the Bulls win, I hope that the winner of this matchup isn't too drained to win the Finals.

I also, firmly, believe that the Bulls and Heat are the 2 best teams in the league, and either should be able to dispatch whoever the East has as a representative in the Finals.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or