The Miami Heat return to action tonight to host the Chicago Bulls at the AmericanAirlines Arena with three of the final four games to close out the regular season on the road. This will be the third of four contests between the two clubs this season. Detroit won each of them, 104-81 on November 25th and 93-92 on December 22nd.
If the Heat continue to play like they did against the Pistons two nights ago, then they should be able to take care of business against the disappointing Bulls, who are fighting for their playoff lives during a difficult season. Mounting injuries, again, have crippled their roster and many of their players have been inconsistent all season long.
"Sometimes we look like a really good team; sometimes we just look awful. I don't know what the basis of it is. Why? I can't answer that." - Jimmy Butler, Bulls.com
Their new coach Fred Hoiberg has not brought much of anything to the team. Derrick Rose, is, Derrick Rose. I could go on but the fact of the matter is that the Heat will want to continue piling on wins in their quest for that No. 3 spot and avoid the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Unfortunately, it looks like Heat big man Hassan Whiteside will be watching from the sidelines tonight after not participating in practice yesterday. He tallied 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in Miami's easy win against the visiting Detroit Pistons on Tuesday for yet another double-double and his rim protection will be missed. However, coach Erik Spoelstra has Josh McRoberts and Udonis Haslem, who's been dusted off the bench in spurts as of late, to take up some of those minutes. Optionally, Amar'e Stoudemire could possibly also play starter's minutes...since he's the starting 5 anyway.
Returning from a two game absence, Dwyane Wade enjoyed an efficient game against the Pistons with 16 points but could possibly see less minutes to rest up for the postseason. We might see more of rookie sensation Josh Richardson, who bounced back from a couple of flat performances in a big way against Detroit. Luol Deng also seems to enjoy playing against his old team and he has been a huge boost for the Heat starting at power forward in place of Chris Bosh.
Miami is 10-2 at home since the All-Star break.
Chicago Bulls: 39-39, .500. Fourth in the Central Division, ninth in the Eastern Conference. Last Five: W-W-L-W-L.
GameTime: 8PM, FS-SUN, TNT, WGN
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