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The NBA betting world has finally gotten what it has wanted in the Eastern Conference. The Miami Heat, the de facto big bad wolves of the NBA, are going to take on the up and coming team in the league, the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. There aren’t all that many expert NBA handicappers that think Chicago is going to win this series in spite of the fact that it won all three games in the regular season meeting, but this could be one heck of a series regardless.
How the Heat Can Win This Series
Miami really is going to need some help from some players aside from its “Big Three” to win this series. We know that Chicago has a heck of a defensive team, and it is no secret to anyone out there that the ball is going to be going through the hands of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Wade and James continue to do their thing with all of their big time stats. “Flash” has averaged 26.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game, and he is accounting for 3.0 steals and blocks combined per game. James is at 26.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game in the playoffs as well.
Bosh has really been a bit of an enigma in the playoffs. He has had some great games and some absolutely horrible ones, and if he thinks that the crowd at the TD Garden gave him a hard time, wait until he sees the hell of earth that the United Center is going to be unleashing on him. Still, he has averaged 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in the playoffs, and though those aren’t the same type of numbers that he was accustomed to with the Toronto Raptors, they’re still big time stats that cannot be overlooked.
Again, the trick though, is to get some help from some other players. We give James Jones and Mario Chalmers a lot of credit. These two have really played well, combining for 13.8 points per game, and when they are asked to, they are knocking down their shots. Aside from that, though? Forget about it! Udonis Haslem came back to the lineup, but he is completely ineffective. Mike Miller is proving to be a waste, and Mike Bibby really isn’t proving to be the answer as the team’s point guard either. Some of these names are going to really need to step it up, or Chicago is going to roll in this series.
How the Bulls Can Win This Series
The Bulls did a great job at home this year, going 5-1 in the playoffs and 36-5 in the regular season. Simply put, if Chicago holds serve in the Windy City this year, it is going to be just fine. The truth of the matter though, is that for the time being, the Bulls are in the heads of the Heat. Winning the first two games in this series are going to be the key to put Miami away as much mentally as physically.
Head Coach Tom Thibodeau knows that his team hasn’t played its best ball yet. After all, just look at the shooting numbers. Derrick Rose is only shooting 41.8 percent from the field, Luol Deng is only at 42.9 percent, Carlos Boozer at 44.5 percent, Joakim Noah at 45.8 percent, and so on and so forth. The rebounding edge hasn’t been what Chicago has been used to either, and this has been against some iffy postseason teams like the Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers.
Still, we know that the Bulls are a scrappy team. They really know how to do all of the dirty work and all of the little things to win games. Just like the Heat need to get some production from men that aren’t out of their “Big Three,” the bench for the Bulls really needs to be big as well. We know that men like Kyle Korver and Taj Gibson are fantastic and have had great postseason runs, accounting for almost 14 points per game between them.
The Last Word – We just don’t see how the Heat are going to get over this hump in this series without winning the very first game. Chicago has been a quick starting team almost all season long, and just as the Bulls were able to put the Hawks down in games in which they jumped out early, we might see the exact same situation here for the Heat. Don’t be shocked if the Bulls end up winning this series in a lot easier fashion that you are probably expecting to see. NBA Playoffs Picks: Bulls in 5