Posted by Matt Moore
Please excuse my use of an exclamation mark here, but...
This was a tied game at the half!
For 24 minutes, the Heat and Bulls played to a standstill. Then the 3rd quarter happened, and, well, here's where you get to choose your own cliche. Things came undone. The Heat imploded. Things went down the tubes for Miami. There was a stampede. Or, to put in in classical terms, Tom Thibodeau walked into the locker room at halftime and said:
"Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war."
It was a slaughter, from the very first play. The Heat came out with a flurry of athleticism to start the game, and when the Bulls responded to the start the third quarter with a barrage of intense play at both ends, the Heat were thrown to the ropes and never recovered. Here are some elements that led to the disaster, from the box score and Synergy Sports:
|Bulls-Heat: Game 1|
- Of the Bulls' 19 offensive rebounds, six came in the third quarter. Miami had none. The Heat had four turnovers, Bulls had none. The Bulls shot 47 percent, the Heat shot 33 percent. That's how you get got.
- The Heat surprisingly only had 14 ISO possessions in the game total. Eight of them came in the third quarter. Which means that the Bulls forced a team that had been moving the ball, working out of the post, and finding the cutter, to take 57 percent of their total one-on-one possessions in one frame of play. The Bulls said "You should stop passing and try and go hero mode" then waved their Jedi hands, and the Heat complied, dutifully.
- Most pathetic? This wasn't some roster adjustment by either team. PopcornMachine.net has the rotations for the game. For seven minutes and 58 seconds of the third, it was starters versus starters. And the Heat were blown out of the water, outscored by nine before Erik Spoelstra took out the only member of the Triad playing well, Chris Bosh, and put in James Jones, electing for small ball. No help.
That's how Miami lost Game 1.