We’re two games in and the pendulum has swung back to the norm. In Game 2, Miami executed on the glass and provoked the opposition into taking low percentage shots just like they have all season against the rest of the league. Reality struck Chicago back at its core: the Bulls are an incredibly talented team with a vast array of talent, an admirable defensive stronghold and one of the most gifted players in the NBA in Rose. All is well, but Miami shares the first two qualities and multiplies the last by 3.
The Return of the King
We won’t call Haslem a magical remedy to the Bull’s high-octane rebounders, but the return of Miami’s warrior evens the playing field in what had previously been a shortage of bigs (opening space for questionable stretches of Juwan Howard throughout the season). It’s too early to determine if Game 2 was merely a Udonis Haslem high on adrenaline from his return or the usual Udonis Haslem contributions when his team needed him most. If fans know him well, it was certainly some of both, and as the King of our Hearts in Miami his insertion to the rotation adds an extra gear that can’t be measured in stats.
You can be certain Chicago has spent every waking moment watching film on how Wade and James got through their defensive barricades. Rose probably pulled all-nighters in determining how to adjust his shot selection and where the openings for drives and his usual floaters will be. As mentioned before, it’s hard to pinpoint what Miami can possibly improve on to overcome the Bulls. It’s not complicated. Stay the course on the defensive end, make rebounding a collective effort, and maintain the relentless attack. Add a sprinkle of the raucous crowd in the 305 and Game 3 should be a decisive victory to instill doubt in Chicago’s reality.
When and Where: Sunday 8:30 EST, American Airlines Arena
Bonus: What opposing media writers can publish can sometimes make one queasy, but this from Chicago Tribune's Steve Rosenbloom is just vile: Heat coach talks, Nonsense Alert Level raised