Monday, May 6, 2013

2013 Playoff Preview: (1) Miami Heat v. (5) Chicago Bulls

The Heat and Bulls have a two-two series split in the regular season, but all anyone remembers is the Bulls snapped the Heat's 27-game win streak.


Chicago: Beat the Brooklyn Nets, 4-3

Miami: Swept the Milwaukee Bucks, 4-0

The Heat are primed and rested. They look ready to rampage through the Bulls and they just might since Chicago is starting to take some heavy losses due to injury and illness.

It might seem like the Bulls have a lockdown defense that could stop the Heat, especially after they killed "The Streak." But the Bulls have not exactly stopped the Heat from scoring this season, considering their best defensive output was allowing 86 points in a 20-point loss to the Heat. And that was with a healthy Joakim Noah and Luol Deng.

It doesn't look good for Chi-Town, but they don't mind the odds. They thrive on being the underdog. They love the competition and they love being world beaters.

The Heat will look to end this series quick. They don't want to get into a brawl with this team because every game is going to take a physical toll on them. The Heat know that if the Bulls cannot win, they will at least try to soften the Heat up for the next challenger (Indiana or New York).


The Bulls start the series without Kirk Hinrich, Deng and Noah, who still looks a bit bothered by previous injuries. There is no change to the status of Derrick Rose, who is expected to continue to be out for the rest of the playoffs.

The Heat are rested and ready with no noted players out of the lineup.


Nate Robinson is still the X-factor in this series. (A Derrick Rose comeback would be a massive X-factor. But it's also a pipe-dream at best.) Robinson's constant motor and need to play defense as if he were a conjoined twin can absolutely annoy defenders. He will need to have consistent big games for the Bulls to even sniff a chance at a win. He has the ability to shoot the Bulls in and out of games so he will need to be careful with his play to give the Bulls the opening they need.

No real X-factors for the Heat. The players and what they do is an open book: heavy doses of LeBron James followed by heavy doses of Dwyane Wade followed by a touch of Chris Bosh and then all of their shooters. There is no one player that can take them out of this series outside of James and Wade, and that's why the Bulls will struggle to get even a one-game victory out of the Heat.


It looks grim for the Bulls. Noah will cause the Heat a few problems down low and the Bulls' defense is going to make everything tough for the Heat, but it doesn't look like that will do anything except temporarily annoy the mega-giant that is the Miami Heat. The Bulls are just undermatched at almost every position, and when it comes to bench play, the Bulls aren't even in the Heat's classification. Without a miracle comeback from Rose, this series looks to go at five games, with the Heat emerging, waiting for the next challenger and getting plenty of rest while doing it.


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