Eastern Conference Finals Game 4: Chicago Bulls (1-2) vs. Miami Heat (2-1)

Even the fans look scared...

Finally, we only have to wait a day in between games.  After winning Game 3 at home on Sunday, the Miami Heat will put their hardhats on and get back to work tonight when they host the Chicago Bulls in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.  I think we're really going to see what these teams are made of because this is such a ‘make or break' game.  A win for Bulls gets them back into the series but if they lose then they will have to win 3 straight against what will be the hottest team in the playoffs.

Before Game 3 Chicago hadn't lost consecutive games since early February, and they haven't dropped 3 in a row all year.  The Heat certainly don't care about that, taking it one game at a time, just trying to maintain the home-court advantage that they have earned for themselves by getting the split in Chicago.  The Bulls can still turn things right back around though, and they can do it the same way that Miami did by losing the first road game but coming back and winning the 2nd.

The main problem for the Bulls has been that they cant get any consistent scoring going while Miami has several offensive weapons that always combine to put up the points needed to win.  I'm fully expecting Derrick Rose to try and step up in this one, early and often.  The Heat has done a good job of controlling his touches and not only keeping him from scoring a lot but also limiting his assists, which is huge. 

Overall Miami's defense in this series has been great, especially in the last two games.  They have held the Bulls to just 160 points in Game's 2 and 3, their lowest total in consecutive games this season.  It's very likely that the Heat are going to have to take Chicago's best shot because it will be desperation time for the Bulls.  They definitely don't want to go down 3 games to 1, but on the other end of that, Miami certainly doesn't want to hand the home court advantage and series momentum back to Chicago.

GAME NOTES

  • Miami is 7-0 at home during this years playoffs.
  • The winner of Game 3 in the Eastern Conference Finals has gone on to the NBA Finals for the last 5 years.  However, the last team to win Game 3 and not move on was the 2005 Miami Heat.
  • Derrick Rose has made just 15-of-42 from the field in his last two games.
  • Chris Bosh is shooting 67.4% while averaging 24.6 points and 7.3 boards in this series.
  • Both teams will look to get off to better starts then they did in Game 3.  The Heat shot 35.3% while Chicago shot 25.0% in the 1st quarter last game.
  • The Heat is still reporting no injuries.
  • Chicago center Omer Asik (ankle) is day-to-day.  If he can't play expect former Heat center/forward Kurt Thomas to get some minutes. 

Tipoff from the AAA is set for 8:30 and the game will be broadcast on TNT, who decided to move their pre and post game show indoors after holding it in front of the arena for Game 3. 

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