Wednesday, May 8, 2013

2013 Playoffs, Round 2, Game 2: (1) Miami Heat v. (5) Chicago Bulls

 Photo Credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant-NBAE via Getty Images

The Bulls have a Napoleon complex. It's obvious and it's fueled by their X-factor in Nate Robinson. Robinson has shown he has the ability to shoot this team in and out of victories, and it couldn't be more exciting to watch. Maybe I was wrong about the amount of help the Bulls had in defending the Heat, maybe the Heat will turn it on tonight, but for now, the Bulls have done something big in stealing Game 1 from the mighty might Heat.

Can they do it again in Game 2?

When: Wednesday, May 8, 7 p.m. ET
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Fla.
Series Record: 1-0, Bulls

The rust and rest factor has been talked about a lot, but don't put too much into the rust theory. Maybe the Heat were rusty in the first quarter, but by the fourth quarter, when they had a lead, the rust was off and the Bulls just found another gear while keeping the Heat from their sugar spots. The Bulls played great and did exactly what they needed to do to win Game 1.

Facts from Game 1 that probably won't happen in Game 2
The Heat only shot 29.2 percent from beyond the arc. It's an uncharacteristically low amount for a team that was second in the league in made 3-point shot percentage at 39.6. Don't expect to see this decline continue.

Robinson was responsible for 25 of the Bulls' 35 fourth-quarter points. It's obvious when he heats up, he can change a series. The question is going to be if he forces it or not in Game 2. How will the Heat defend him? Will they over-defend him and leave someone like Joakim Noah open to punish them in the paint? It will be interesting, but you cannot expect Robinson to turn into Superman every game. Can you?

Jimmy Butler. Who? He is the guy filling in for Luol Deng, the guy who dropped 21 points, grabbed 14 boards and three assists in Game 1. He put in such a performance that Twitterverse started calling him Jimmy Buckets, which may be premature. Don't expect that kind of output in Game 2, but if he can do it, it will give the Bulls a huge chance at a second victory.  Jimmy Buckets needs to be ready to shoot because the defense is going to collapse on Robinson quite a bit.

Expected Adjustments
Dwyane Wade looks like he is plaing on Kobe Bryant's Achilles. He seems hobbled and unwilling to force action at the rim at times. He has to force himself into the paint if the Heat want to put pressure on the Bulls. Wade in the lane equals space for the rest of their spot-up three-point shooters who thrive on being wide open. If Wade can get to the rim more, expect that three-point percentage to rise drastically.

Has anyone seen The Boshtrich? Chris Bosh needs to show up or the Heat will be looking at a 2-0 hole going back to Chicago.

The Skinny
The Heat are not in trouble ... yet. Don't jump the gun yet, but if the Heat were to go down Wednesday night, it might be panic in Miami and some unloading of the bandwagon, though it would be premature. If the Bulls want to win Game 2, they have to clean the glass at the rate they did in Game 1 and keep Wade out of the paint. If they can do that, and limit the impact of the Heat's three-point shooting again, the Heat could find themselves in trouble. But ...

The Heat are completely capable of coming back from a 2-0 deficit. True panic wouldn't set in until the fourth quarter of the elimination game for the Heat. One thing that is for sure is the Bulls have made themselves known in this series. They have come to play and are in the Heat's proverbial China Shop, getting ready to charge.

Bulls Injury Report
Deng is still in the hospital due to illness. Questionable: Kirk Hinrich (calf). Highly questionable, improbably, why do you keep waiting for him to come back and looking at his injury status just stop already: Derrick Rose (knee), out.

Heat Injury Report

Heat 97, Bulls 83, but who wouldn't love seeing the Bulls win Game 2.


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