Blog Entry

Bulls-Heat Preview: Clash of the you-know-whats

Posted on: May 13, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2011 9:49 pm
Posted by Royce Young

I. Intro:  No. 2 seed Miami Heat (58-24) vs. No. 1 seed Chicago Bulls (62-20)

I'd say the people are getting what the people wanted. The starpower of the Heat versus the excellence of the Bulls. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James versus the MVP, Derrick Rose. No matter what happens in the West -- not even if the Lakers somehow resurrect themselves and rematch the Mavericks -- the Eastern Conference Finals are the focus.

Really, if you're not giddy about this series, then you're either a Celtics fan or not reading this.

II. What Happened:  A look at the season series

The Bulls took the season series 3-0, but that's a bit deceiving. In one of those games, LeBron didn't play. And in all three, the margin was just a total of eight points in favor of the Bulls. All the games were close, and all came down to the Bulls basically stopping the Heat from executing in crunch time.

III. Secret of the Series: Officiating

Officiating? Seriously? With all the talent and matchups and storylines, that's what you're going with?

Here's the reason: Between Rose, Wade and LeBron, you've got three of the most difficult players to officiate in the league and three guys that can get to the line 15 times in a game. In key moments against the Celtics, Wade was able to get the whistle and get to the line. Will the same thing happen against the physical, rugged Bulls interior defense? And what about Rose? Can he count on getting calls?

These are two of the very best defensive teams in the league. I'd imagine every game will be finished in the 80s, meaning every point is vital. Baskets will be hard to come by, making free throws worth gold. He who gets to the line the most will have the edge.

IV. The Line-Item Veto:  Who wins each match-up?

PG: I'm pretty sure we won't be seeing too much Mike Bibby or Mario Chalmers on Derrick Rose. Most likely Wade gets the call and there's an adjustment for both coaches at shooting guard to try and take advantage. But, regardless, this is where the Bulls trump the Heat in a big way. Rose is far and away more talented than any point guard on the Miami roster and the Heat don't have to guard him. They'll have to adjust, meaning the Bulls have an early upper hand.  Huge advantage, Bulls. 

SG: Keith Bogans is a very good defender. He's physical, strong and can even hit an open 3 if given the opportunity. But, um, Dwyane Wade. There's no contest here. Bogans will do a good job at times checking Wade, but like the Rose matchup, this is a big edge for Miami. Huge advantage, Heat.

SF: We're talking the best small forward in basketball versus a solid role starter. LeBron is much better than Luol Deng, but I'm not afraid to say this is actually a semi-close matchup. Deng has the length, size and strength to hang with LeBron. The easy jumper won't be there when he wants it and Deng's long arms will test LeBron's ball-handling. Obviously LeBron is better, but Deng can guard him. Advantage, Heat.

PF: Already, Carlos Boozer is talking some smack, and saying the Heat only have a Big Two. You'd think that would be motivation for Chris Bosh but, at this point, with all that's been said about him, I'm not even sure Bosh cares. Heck, he admitted it himself not long ago. But this is probably the most intriguing matchup and maybe where the series lies. Two underachieving, yet very talented power forwards that need to provide secondary scoring to help their stars. Who gets the best of it? I have no idea. That's why I'm copping out and saying it's a push.  

C: Bascially what you have here is a high-energy rebounding and defensive-minded center versus a lesser version of himself. Joakim Noah is just a much, much better version of Joel Anthony. Advantage, Bulls.

Bench: Against the Hawks, the Bulls proved that their second unit may be the best in basketball. Taj Gibson came up big. Omer Asik's pick-and-roll defense was tremendous. Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Kurt Thomas and C.J. Watson all gave decent minutes. The Heat on the other hand, don't have much off their pine. Mike Miller is OK, Eddie House is hot and cold, their backup big guys are very meh, and there isn't much offense coming from the bench. Huge advantage, Bulls.  

Coach: I think the coaches are going to play a larger role in this series than one might think. Just deciphering the matchups and figuring out how to counter a move by the other guy will be big. What does Tom Thibodeau do if Wade guards Rose? Does Erik Spoelstra even put Wade on Rose? How does Spoelstra use his bench? Both guys are smart, but young and inexperienced coaches. I don't think either is going to win a game for their team this series, but they could certainly lose one. I just don't know which guy it'll be, so I'm saying push.

V. Conclusion

What we saw from the Heat during the regular season was that, at times, they looked like a machine that was darn near unbeatable. Then, at other times, they were as vulnerable as any team in the league. They had a hard time staying consistent and, thus far in the postseason, they've done so. In late game situations, they've executed.

But the Bulls were a team that gave them major problems during the season. The way Chicago defends, the way the Bulls limit second chance points and the way Rose can dominate, make this a tough matchup. That said, something came out in the Heat during that Celtics series. They looked ready, focused and determined. The Bulls are no doubt prepared for this, but it's two great players against one. And two almost always is better than one. Heat in seven.

Since: May 4, 2011
Posted on: May 15, 2011 12:39 pm

Bulls-Heat Preview: Clash of the you-know-whats

I agree mostly with this analysis of the series. The Heat star power will prove too much for Rose and his role players. I really don't see any impact players coming of the bench for Chicago other than Korver if he's hot the rest are just solid role players. The only reason they score more is because they play more and have to do more for Chicago to be effective. The Heat bench is just as talented, but get spot duty because the dominance of the Wade, James, and Bosh. They score about 80% of the points, but if you go player by player and match up talent wise I'd take the Heat bench over Chicago. The shooters will have alot to say about this series, who will knock down open looks of penetration. Miami will feel game 1 out get their rotation set, Haslem being back could be huge for the Heat if Spoelstra can work him into the rotation. Heat win this series in 6, all though it will take one more game than Boston, I think the Heat will be more impressive against the Bulls. There will be a couple of games where this looks like a mismatch. 

Since: Jan 25, 2007
Posted on: May 15, 2011 10:32 am

Bulls-Heat Preview: Clash of the you-know-whats

This is very strange....90% of all analyist are picking the Heat but the general public polls are picking the Bulls. What's also weird is the belief that the Heat has more talent than the bulls......I'm confused by that perception. The Heat has three great players and....that's it, the Bulls are a way more complete team the bulls has more overall talent and that is pretty CLEAR, bulls in 5, seriously.

Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: May 14, 2011 2:19 pm

Bulls-Heat Preview: Clash of the you-know-whats

I beg to disagree... Bulls is a team that always has someone step up.  Rose is the most consistent but they also have one of the highest scoring benches in the league.   Rose doesnt have to make every shot to win, and he knows this.  Boozer is better than bosh this season...and yes Heat beat the Celtics but that was a celtics team that whimpered into the playoffs.  Celtics with Rhondo hurt still gave heat a run.  Bulls are better than the celtics offensively and defensively.  If this goes to Game 7 Wade and James will be too tired to keep up.  I expect the bulls to run a fast paced game and run the heat down.

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: May 13, 2011 9:21 pm

Bulls-Heat Preview: Clash of the you-know-whats

Yes im biased, that is clear from the avatar. That being said I think the Heat take out the Bulls and they wont need seven games to do it. Last series against the C's, their bench, depth and defense were supposed to stifle the one dimensional, two man Heat. Now that the Heat won, the C's were old and their point guard was one armed. How about we give the Heat some credit? They beat the elite team that people werent sure that they could beat and did it in close games.

Now the Heat are getting the same people with the same doubts. Boozer and Bosh are a push, you have got to be kidding me. Boozer will forever be a defensive liability and if you think he is going to have 20 and 10 and shoot over 60% against the Heat, who are defensively underrated, you are mistaken. Rose will get his and the Bulls arent going to roll over and die, but unless the Heat beat themselves talent will win out. The Bulls' biggest disadvantage is that they dont have anyone that can create a shot on their own other than the MVP. That will fly against the Pacers, and the Hawks, that wont fly against the Heat. 

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