The Heat are who we thought they were. Athletic, defensive minded, well rounded offensively and a dominate team. They put the clamps down and limited the Bulls to a franchise playoff low in points, pounding them 88- 65 Monday night at the UnitedCenter.
The short-handed Bulls, without the services of Deng and Hinrich, couldn’t match the energy level of the Miami Heat. Have the injuries caught up to them? Have they played too many minutes? “We’re kind of putting screws and bandages everywhere, it’s frustrating.” Bulls back-up Forward, Taj Gibson said.
The Bulls set a franchise low in field goal percentage, shooting just 26.7 percent. They were out scored 29-4 on fast break points. Down only 11 at the half, it seemed as if the Bulls were a few quality possessions from getting back in the game. The Heat put that feeling to rest using a 19-9 run to pull away in the 3rd.
The Miami Heat took a 3-1 lead behind LeBron James, who had his typical MVP stat sheet-filled performance of 27 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals. He proved to be too much for whoever had the nightmare of guarding him.
After scoring 20 and setting a career high in rebounds in the playoffs at 19, Chris Bosh scored an efficient 14 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field. Dwayne Wade on the other hand had yet another non-efficient night, scoring a measly 6 points on 3 of 10. Wade landed awkwardly on his bad knee appearing to hurt it again in the 3rd. He was back in the game after getting re-taped. Norris Cole couldn’t get going scoring 7 points after going 8 of 8 from three in the series.
On a day that Joakim Noah was named to the First Team all NBA Defensive team, he didn’t show up. Scoring only 6 points on 1of 6 shooting and grapping 9 rebounds, Noah looked winded at times and outmatched talent wise. Bulls were led by Carlos Boozer with 14 points and 12 rebounds along with his effortless bad defense. Bulls also got 12 points from Jimmy Butler.
Miami’s defense made it tough on Nate Robinson. The long reach of Chalmers and athleticism of Cole seemed to get to Robinson. The Heat made the adjustments since game 1. They decided to trap Robinson with the ball, at 5’9 it’s hard to see over to make a pass. Robinson went scoreless on 0 for 12 shooting. Pretty much sums up the way the game went for our try-hard Bulls.
Seldom used Veteran Rip Hamilton even got playing time. Never shy, Hamilton put up 11 shots in 22 minutes scoring 11 points. Hamilton expressed frustration with not getting playing time after the game. “A lot of stuff in life you don’t understand, the playoffs is what I was brought here for” a disappointed Hamilton said.
Bulls find themselves back in SouthBeach Wednesday night for Game 5, where the Heat will look to close out the series. The Bulls will come to play and will bring the effort, but the Heat will bring that same effort but also overwhelming talent. Good luck, Bulls!
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