Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls fight for their post-season lives as they host the Miami Heat in game five on Thursday night. The Bulls are 3-point favorites over the Heat with an over/under run total set at 180.
The Chicago Bulls fought admirably in game four but Derrick Rose couldn’t create a miracle at the end of regulation, as the Bulls would eventually fall in OT. Rose ended up struggling to overcome the suffocating defense of the versatile LeBron James as the MVP drained just 8 of 27 shots from the field on the night. Despite the result, the Bulls’ effort was promising for long stretches as it’s become evident this is a team with very little quit within them. Whether or not resiliency and hustle will be enough to overcome star power in an elimination game remains to be seen, but Chicago has to like their chances playing at home where they’ve enjoyed such an advantage over the course of this season.
The Miami Heat can taste a spot in the Finals after taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. LeBron James is coming off a stunning performance on both ends of the court but the real difference maker in game four was actually the contribution of Mike Miller. I’m not sure how much it says about the guy deemed to be a scorer off the bench when the season started that a pretty average night elevated the team towards victory, but nonetheless his rare contribution couldn’t have come at a better time. Chris Bosh is coming off yet another efficient night scoring as well and while Dwyane Wade was absent for stretches, he managed to surface at crucial junctures, most notably in overtime.
I do expect Chicago to avoid elimination here on their home floor. Miami will need to wait to return to South Beach to close this thing out as Chicago scraps harder than we’ve ever seen on Thursday night. Take the Bulls minus the three points.
Chicago Bulls -3 Miami Heat