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Game Preview: Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls

Hello All, Friday night the Heat (33-32) will host the Chicago Bulls (31-32 before Thursday night against the Magic). The Bulls had lost 5 straight heading into the Magic game, while the Heat has won 4 of its last 5. No word on whether or not Dorell Wright will play, but seriously, is there a flakier non-Wizards team in the league than the Heat? A DUI? Really?!?!?! PROJECTED STARTERS Heat Bulls PG Arroyo D. Rose SG Wade K. Hinrich SF Richardson L. Deng (Dukie!) PF Beasley T. Gibson C O’Neal B. Miller The obvious advantage for the Bulls is Rose, one of the top three or four point guards in the league who can do just about anything on the floor. Hinrich is a sneaky good defender, and Miller can create inside-outside mismatches when guarded by O’Neal. STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN (Stats from Statsheet.com; 3/10/10) Effective Field Goal % The Heat is 18th in the league at 49.1%; the Bulls are 28th at 47.3%. EDGE: Heat Turnover % The Heat is 4th in the league at 13%; the Bulls are 15th at 14.3%. EDGE: Heat Offensive Rebound % The Heat is 20th in the league at 25.8%; the Bulls are 13th at 27.2%. EDGE: Bulls Free Throw Rate The Heat is 16th in the league at 29.5%; the Bulls are 23rd at 28.4%. EDGE: Heat KEY TO THE GAME The Heat will win this game if they win the boards. The Bulls will be without Joakim Noah, who would have been a nightmare for the Heat on the boards. Miller is a good big man, but not necessarily a force in the middle. The Heat usually are overmatched on the boards, but this is an opportunity to gain ground in the playoff race by overpowering a struggling, tired opponent. Always guard the inbound passer.