Hey Chuck...how 'bout you say some of that to my face?
On the night the NCAA tournament started the Sweet Sixteen round, this game had the feel of a first round #1 vs #16 game. The Miami Heat played the role of powerhouse, while the Chicago Bulls were the directional-never heard of this-state university.
The first quarter opened with both teams looking a bit sloppy. The Bulls had a few turnovers while Miami's "Titos" were missing some good looks. Also, Michael Beasley picked up two quick fouls in the first three minutes and went to the bench. Jermaine O'Neal however, did make four early buckets and guide the Heat to a 12-10 lead at the first media timeout.
The Heat extended the lead throughout the rest of the quarter as several players got buckets in the paint, including some post-work from Quentin Richardson, which I don't think we've seen since November. The Bulls were struggling in the half court and were only bailed out by a couple of Kirk Hinrich threes and some nice attacking to the rim by Taj GIbson. But it was Miami who closed the quarter with a 23-9 run, which gave them a 31-19 lead.
And the run just continued throughout the entire second quarter. J.O. got bucket after bucket inside. Haslem filled it up with ten in the first half. It was like a layup line on the Miami side of the court. On the other side of the coin, the Bulls must have been allergic to the lane. There was no desire to to get to the rim and a lot of settling for outside looks and one-on one offense.
That isn't the best of ideas when the matchups just aren't in your favor. Also, Joel Anthony got five blocks to make things further difficult for Los Bulls, who Kenny Smith aptly said were, "mucho terrible." Boo birds came out after a comical Hinrich traveling violation and continued as Dwyane Wade hit two jumpers to close the half and give the Heat a 63-33 lead.
Wow. And yes, the score was very indicative of how the game felt.
Much of the same in the third quarter. Chicago got a little more going as Derrick Rose became aggressive scoring the ball. The rest of the Bulls started to look more and more disinterested though. Miami surprisingly looked very interested in keeping the flow going. Michael Beasley got into the action with five field goals finishing with 11 points in the quarter and raising the Heat lead to 86-49 going into the fourth.
Nothing of significance happened in the fourth quarter. James Jones hit a couple threes. Jamal Magloire airballed a jump-hook. Hakim Warrick had a nice dunk garnering the only cheers of the night from the Chicago crowd. The game mercifully finished 103-74.
- Simple game for Dwyane Wade, and it might of have been the most invisible he's been in any game this year, in a good way. Chicago double-teamed every time he got the ball, but Wade was content to pass. With the Bulls' defensive rotations being non-existent, it led to many easy buckets and a 10 assist night for Dwyane, despite playing just 29 minutes. He also turned the ball over just once.
- I'd love to wax poetic again about the Heat defense, but while it was pretty good, Chicago was just woeful offensively. No energy, no desire, and no real talent, outside of Derrick Rose.
- Great effort though to make sure this wasn't close, and limit minutes for the starters. Tomorrow is a huge game against Milwaukee and there wasn't much energy drained in grabbing this win.
- I was a bit worried that TNT's studio team of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley were calling this game. It was supposed to be a very tough and close, important game, and I thought there humor based game call would be distracting. But the epic blowout this was, made the comedy just terrific.
See you guys tomorrow night!