Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls look to replicate a strong game one performance as they host the Miami Heat from the United Center on Wednesday Night. The Bulls are 2-point favorites over the Heat and the over/under point total is set at 181.
The Chicago Bulls won with fundamentals in game one as they held a 45-33 edge in rebounding to penalize Miami for dressing a small lineup. 19 of those boards came on the offensive glass as the Bulls finished the night attempting 19 more shots than the Heat. In addition to controlling the boards, the Bulls got a huge night from a bench that has the Heat bench outclassed by miles. Taj Gibson and Omer Asik may not light up the stat sheet, but having reserves that talented on the defensive end of the floor is another huge reason for Chicago’s success. The Bulls were unsuccessful stopping Chris Bosh, but managed to keep James and Wade in check for the most part.
The Miami Heat will likely activate Zydrunas Ilgauskas for this contest to help snag some rebounds. The Heat didn’t even shoot poorly in the first game, going 47.1% on the night. It really just came down to the Bulls getting extra possessions and shooting so many more shots on the night at an even worse clip (43%). The Heat defense really had no answer for Derrick Rose and Luol Deng as the pair hit 7 of 13 from long range to really bury the outcome. The Heat will need to focus their efforts better and force other players to beat them if they want to head to South Beach with the series even. They’ll also need James and Wade to muster 20 points a piece as well realistically.
The Bulls have now gone 4-0 against the Heat on the year, so it’s difficult to go against them, especially when the line is so enticing to ride the home team once more. In game one it seemed pretty evident that the Heat were the public side, but after the first encounter it’s tough to gauge whether the public has adopted the “Miami will bounce back” or “the Bulls are awesome, it’s time to switch sides” stance. Personally I’m of the bounce back mindset, but maybe I’m seeing something in this Heat team that just isn’t there. I just don’t expect the Heat to get brutalized so badly on the boards again which is really what caused this one to get so lopsided in the first place. These teams played extremely tight games in the regular series and I have to think that trend is the true natural order. I’ll take the Heat plus the 2.
Miami Heat +2 Boston Celtics