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The Chicago Bulls absolutely stormed through Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, crippling the Miami Heat 103-82 thanks to a huge second half. Will it be more of the same for those making NBA picks in Game 2 on Wednesday night? Check out our NBA predictions for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals!
NBA Playoffs Preview: Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls Game 2
Date: Wednesday, May 18th, 8:30 ET
Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
Game Line: Chicago -2
Heat Notes: Okay, Miami. You’ve officially been smacked in the mouth. It’s time to see just how rough and tough you really are! It has really become disturbing for the Heat that they have been held in the 80s in each of the last three meetings against the Bulls dating back to the regular season, and it goes without saying that there won’t be any cause for a championship celebration and a ticker tape parade in South Beach without that changing. For his first game in the Eastern Conference Finals since his days with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James certainly didn’t play like a King. He shot just 5-of-15 from the field, and it really seems surprising that he only took those 15 shots when push came to shove. We know that James has some better pieces to the puzzle around him now that he didn’t have before, but we also know that he needs to be more aggressive with the basketball and get to the hoop against the Chicago bigs. James scored just 15 points and had six boards and six assists in Game 1. Dwyane Wade too, needs to be more aggressive to get to the hoop. Wade shot 7-of-17 and accounted for 18 points, but he was really totally out of the loop aside from that. The hero was surprisingly Chris Bosh, who did his job against the big time boys in the middle of the Bulls, coming up with 30 points and nine rebounds on 12-of-18 shooting. We spoke of others stepping up, especially in situations in which the Big Three aren’t playing like absolute studs. In Game 1 though, only Mario Chalmers scored more than four points, and the rest of the team only had a total of 19 points.
Bulls Notes: Chicago was particularly impressive defensively in Game 1, holding Heat to just 68 total shots. Of course, a lot of that was thanks to the fact that the Bulls accounted for 19 offensive rebounds and a total of 45 boards against the 33 for the Heat. Miami did a nice job in terms of shooting percentage at 47.1 percent, which was a heck of a lot better than the 43.7 percent that Chicago shot, but again, when you have a difference of 21 shots, you can afford to miss a few more as well. Derrick Rose wasn’t the greatest on Sunday night, but he did come up with 28 points and six helpers to lead the way for the team. Luol Deng was arguably the best Bull on the court. He had 21 points and seven rebounds on 7-of-15 shooting, and he also knocked down four big time three pointers to help blow this game out of proportion in the second half. In fact, Chicago shot 47.6 percent from the land of trey as a team. Carlos Boozer had 14 points and nine rebounds, while both Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah had big games in the paint. Gibson had nine points and seven rebounds off of the bench. Noah had 14 boards, eight of which came on the offensive glass, and he also had nine points and four assists. The Bulls also won the turnover battle 16-10, something that has to make Head Coach Tom Thibodeau a very, very happy man.
The Final Word: Momentum is absolutely on the side of the Bulls right now, and we just aren’t so sure that the Heat are going to be able to get off of the mat at any point during this series, especially here in the Windy City. There’s no excuse for Chicago to not turn up aces once again, and we tend to think that we will see an awfully similar score in Game 2 that we saw in Game 1.
Free NBA Playoffs Picks: Chicago Bulls -2
Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat Prediction: Chicago 95 – Miami 83