With another long layoff finally in the rearview mirror, the Miami Heat will host their first Eastern Conference Final game since their championship season of 2006. After splitting the fist two games in Chicago, the Heat is in a good position to take control of this series. Not only are they at home for the next two games, they got a huge boost when Udonis Haslem returned to the lineup.
It's easy to be confident with momentum going in Miami's favor but this team knows that they still have a lot of work to do and the Bulls are a team that you cant turn your back on for a second. As we saw in Game 1, they are a very athletic bunch that thrives off of their opponents' mistakes. Right now that loss is acting as a good wake up call, showing the Heat how on top of their game they need to be against the hard working team from Chicago.
The Heat will certainly have their work cut out for them because the Bulls are a squad that is much like Miami in that they are very good at bouncing back from a loss. Chicago has lost 3 times during this postseason and each time they have come back in the next game with a double-digit victory. The Heat has also come back with a win after every loss, but the average margin of victory for those games is 8.0.
After the way the first two games of this series went down, I'm very anxious to see how both teams respond in Game 3. I think Miami was a little surprised with how fast and physical the Bulls were in Game 1 and responded well by doing all the little things right in Game 2. Obviously Udonis played a big part in the turnaround, and that is part of why tonight's game is so intriguing.
- The Heat is 6-0 at the AAA during this years playoffs, the only team left without a loss at home.
- Overall they have won 7 straight playoff games on their homecourt going back to last year. The franchise mark is 8 in a row set in 2006.
- Miami has sold out 50 straight home playoffs games, dating back to May 10th, 1999.
- Before losing their only home game against the Bulls earlier this season the Heat had beaten Chicago 5 consecutive times in Miami.
- LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have each scored 20 or more points in 9 of Miami's 12 playoff games this season. The Heat record for most 20+ point games in one playoff year belongs to D-Wade when he reached the mark in 22 of Miami's 23 playoff games in 2006. That's just sick.
- There continues to be no reported injuries from either team.
The Heat will be giving away White Hot T-shirts to all fans in attendance. Tipoff from the AAA is set for 8:30 and the game will be broadcast on TNT with the same
douchey trio calling the game (Albert, Kerr, Miller) that worked Game 2. Lets Go Heat!!