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NBA Playoffs: Back in sweet home Chicago can Bulls extend series?

May 26, 2011, 1:02 PM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat - Game Four Getty Images

In one key way, the Eastern Conference Finals have been a lot like the Western Conference Finals — it has been about the fourth quarter.

Miami has turned up the defensive pressure late and the Bulls have wilted in the final stanza. In the fourth quarter of the last three games the Bulls have shot 32.7 percent and been outscored 64-47. The fourth quarter is when LeBron James has switched on to Derrick Rose and the result is Rose shooting 2-of-11 in the last three fourth quarters combined.

Desperate and down 3-1 and heading back home for an elimination game, look for the Bulls to have a better fourth quarter, to finally close out a game well. They had better, or this series is over.

Back at home, look for the Bulls role players to feel more comfortable and play better. For one, expect Taj Gibson has to give the Bulls more, both on defense and in transition. Also Kyle Korver has to hit a shot — the Bulls still need to knock down some threes and long twos to make the Heat pay for packing the paint on them.

Expect to see the same out of the Heat bench we saw last game — Erik Spoelstra has gone to a tight eight-man rotation with Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller being the only guys seeing big minutes off the bench. Both have played well but can that continue under pressure on the road? Probably, especially with Haslem, who has been what the Heat needed inside. The Bulls need to force Miami deeper into that bench by getting some guys in foul trouble, either by the penetration of Rose or some other guys stepping up.

One interesting matchup to watch is Joakim Noah over on Chris Bosh — something the Bulls made a priority of in Game 4 (and should have worked harder to do in earlier games rather than letting him get switched off so easily). Bosh has been the best Heat player in a couple games, doing a great job of mixing midrange shots with drives, and if he is again the Bulls will not be headed back to Miami.

At some point soon, Dwyane Wade is going to go off. He has not looked himself this series and was doing a lot of extra shooting and work Wednesday. If Game 5 is when he does go off there will be no Game 6.

On the flip side, who is going to take the pressure off Rose? Carlos Boozer you say? Well, they need him. But they need someone to create their own shot and be a better outside shooter in this series. Miami has been able to pack the paint and wall off Rose because they do not fear the outside shot of the Bulls. That is particularly true in the fourth quarter.

The Heat are the better team and they have closed games better. But this is still a close series — Rose drains that fadeaway over LeBron and this series is even. That’s not how it went down, but these two teams are close. Close enough that the Bulls have hope — win Game 5 at home, steal one on the road and suddenly it’s one game for all the marbles.

But to get there, the Bulls need to be desperate. They need to knock down shots. And they need to close out the fourth quarter better. Because you know the Heat will.

  1. edweird0 - May 26, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    This is going to be the closest game yet for the Bulls but we all know once that 4th quarter comes around the Heat are gunna shut it down!

  2. dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    As a Mavs fan I think Chicago can still win tonight and start the self destruction of the SKHEAT!!!

    Its going the distance tonight my friends and prob going to set ratings!!!

    Avenge 06!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • edweird0 - May 26, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      You’re so delusional its not even funny. You’re gunna need that blind faith come tuesday buddy

      • philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 3:36 PM

        lol well said

    • miami4allday - May 26, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Yeah you wish clown, 2006 all over again. Watch the German and crew CHOKE again

      • dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 4:31 PM

        CLOWN… YOU GUYS CELEBRATED THE CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE EVEN WINNING A GAME THIS YEAR…CLOWN!!!

        AND WHILE YOUR ON KOKSUKER GO AHEAD AND CHANGE YOU ALIAS TOO miami4allgays CAUSE WE ALL HEAR ABOUT WHAT GOES ON IN SOUTH BEACH!!!!

      • david8726 - May 26, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        I TALK IN ALL CAPs, EVERYTHING I SAY IS IMPORTANT. IM STEPHEN A SMITH!

      • dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 5:14 PM

        your forgetting about the attention and double teams dirk gets and his free throws philly!!!

  3. dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Chicago needs to double Lebozo with a combo or Deng Booser Taj and let D.Rose give it to Dawrongwade!!! Bring full court pressure the WHOLE dam Game and geeeze us get the REBOUND !!!

    • philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 2:01 PM

      Yeh im pretty sure you would like that to happen.. i tell ya what you can always dream lol

    • edweird0 - May 26, 2011 at 2:08 PM

      Wow your so witty with your little puns

    • southbeachtalent - May 26, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      oh boy, is this what we have to look forward to? More non-funny LeBron jokes??? I’m sure you’re hoping the Bulls win and they can. But your only delaying the ineveitable.

      The SKHEAT??? wow just wow. Hey its your turn to hit that doob again loser.

      • dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        NOOOOOOO YOU NEED TO LOOK FORWARD TO TONIGHT!!! WHILE I HIT THE DOOB AND WATCH THE GAME!!! (COUGH COUGH ) SEE MAVS ALREADY TOOK CARE OF BUSINESS LITTLE BOY, (PSHHHHHHH) NOW THE BUSINESS IS LAUGHING AT YOUR STUPID ASSCOMMENTS!!!

        lmao you actually think someone passed the blunt to u!!! (cough cough)

        and BTW Lebron is not JORDANS SPAWN you should let him know when your done with my kok!!!

    • chicago240 - May 26, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      I thought Dallas had worked to improve the output of their public education…..kinda sad.

      • dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        CHICAGO CAN TALK ABOUT EDUCATION??? KINDA SAD

  4. philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Ok so now all the Mavs Fans want to talk crap.. speaking as a Heat Fan, the Bulls are a very good Team they have proved it, MVP coach of the year, Home Court, the fact is they are not the BETTER team, do the math 1 superstar cannot overcome 3 superstars. The Bulls have a one man show, Miami however have shown to be unpredictable, i say Miami in 6 period. Ok Moving on the the Mavs, in case yall havent notice 1. History tends to repeat itself, 2. Miami is not the same team the Mavs Beat in the season, and 3. The Mavs have not played a gruesome defense Team like Miami has all playoffs.
    Point is Miami knocking off Dallas in 6 games, yall may rate this comment -100 thumbs down because deep down the truth and reality hurts.

    • edweird0 - May 26, 2011 at 2:07 PM

      Couldn’t have said it better myself

  5. cam3420 - May 26, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    aww man but if the Mavs beat the heat then lebron will literally commit suicide lmao

  6. david8726 - May 26, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    I’m a Heat fan too, and it’s good to see other Heat fans on this forum.

    But please, lay off the Heat-Mavs talk until we actually finish off Chicago.

    Are you guys actively trying to sports-jinx us or something? This series isn’t over. The three wins we’ve had have come in razor-thin margins (despite what the final score says). We could easily lose tonight and then have a pressure game-6 on our hands at home.

    Chill out, there will be plenty of time to talk Heat-Mavs… if we get there.

    • edweird0 - May 26, 2011 at 2:46 PM

      Dam you say youre a Heat fan but wheres the faith?!?! Haven’t they’ve shown enough these playoffs so you can sit back, relax, and know everything is gunna be ok?

      • chicago240 - May 26, 2011 at 3:55 PM

        Wow. You win two close ones in Miami and you’re already counting your chickens??? At least when Chicago won at home, they have their starters out for a lot of the 4th quarter. Bulls return to home form tonight and edge one out finally in Miami, I like our chances. If they lose, then I guess I just root for Dallas with all the rest of non-Miami Americans (which is remarkable since Cuban is still there).

      • dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

        LEBRON NEEDS JORDANS LUCKY SHORTS

      • miami4allday - May 26, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        yes just like after you won Game one as a result solely from points scored from offensive rebounds. Every one was saying how the heat’s lack of a big man was going to finally catch up with them AFTER ONE FLUKE GAME So dont talk about us winning two close games in Miami and counting chickens or whatever the hell it is that you are talking about. Its does not matter how much they won by, the fact is you LOST.

      • david8726 - May 26, 2011 at 4:29 PM

        Edweird, are you saying the only way I can be a true Heat fan is to be a blind homer who picks us to win every game?

        I do have faith. I think we’ll close out the series. But I also know that Chicago is still dangerous, and that Heat-Mavs talk is premature at this point.

      • chicago240 - May 26, 2011 at 4:45 PM

        Fluke? Fluke??? You need to respect decent opponents better than that. All I’m saying is that there wasn’t a lot of room for error in your home game wins. Lebron stepped up better than Rose did. Miller shot better than Korver. Just keep in mind you were a buzzer beater away from returning to Chicago 2-2 so don’t be going all the way to Fluke status for your opponents to beat you. That’s a little much after the 0-3 versus the Flukesters during the season.

    • philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 3:35 PM

      David.. i understand your logic about not looking past the Bulls.. however my fellow HeatFan, The Bulls will not make it out of the East this Year, Give your Team some credit, these Mavs Fan are here talking alot of trash.. in which i understand sine they would rather beat on the Bulls whose inexperienced like the Thundar. Point is Dalls for now you guys can ride your Horses, Milk your Cows, but come June 2nd know this Dirk will get shut down then we will see what yall are made of !

      • dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 3:54 PM

        wow southbitchdiet needs to get off his dildostrapped horse and give it back to lebron wade and posh. BTW….. TEXAS MF IS WHERE I STAY!!!!!

        phily …. deeez nuts U EAGLE pussbag!!!

        WHO IS GOING TO STOP DIRK, WHO!!!

        FINISH THE BULLS THEN YOU CAN TALK HEAT!!!!

        For now Mark Cuban wants you to know he’d like a bj too when your done w/me!!!

      • miami4allday - May 26, 2011 at 4:22 PM

        Ok I agree who is gonna stop Dirk? But answer me who on your team can Stop Lebron? Wade? Bosh?

      • david8726 - May 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        I’m not “not giving my team credit.” I’m saying that talking Heat-Mavs is kind of silly when we still have to kill off a dangerous opponent.

        It’s like a cheesy B horror movie – if you leave the monster half dead, it’s going to wake up again and kill you. They have to finish it off.

        Then we can talk Heat Mavs.

      • dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 5:15 PM

        bibby-kidd
        wade-stevenson
        bj-marion
        bosh-dirk
        ziggy-chandler

        now what about jj,terry,peja and the rest of the bench?

  7. kmike82 - May 26, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    I hope the bulls stop playing the pick and roll because Rose can usually beat the other defender (other than Lebron) off the dribble.. They end up bringing an extra defender to Rose and his only outlet pass is to the rolling big man who turns it over half the time

    child, please!

  8. Rock DeAugustine - May 26, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Come on…I am a Bulls fan from the west loop; my fellow Chitown operatives are delusional: Derek Rose has been HORRIBLE in all four games. Deng, Boozer, and especially Noah have all played better. Rose doesn’t pass, can’t shoot, and turns the ball over constantly. Last game it said 7 for TO’s, but there were that many in the last four minutes…which Dwade and Lebron turn into quick transition baskets. When Watson can come in and score 3/4 and get 1 assist in about 5 minutes, there is something wrong in the windy city. When you see coach T taking Rose out of the game at crucial moments, or Noah acting as point guard (7 assists the other night); when u see Rose NEVER looking at Boozer or Korver with a pass, then you know something is wrong. Are his bros deep into a gambler or the mob??

  9. philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    This is how you simplify kids on here 1st to @dallasdooman no one cares where you stay.. Dirk got shut down 5 years ago and it will be the same and i say this WHEN they play MIAMI.. you see my screen name and you think i am from Philly? anyways… wont even waste my post on your senseless ass.. now to @chicago240 If you know any sort of basket ball you could honestly say to yourself “Man chicago played great but better luck next year” Miami dont care about the other players only Derrick Rose, shut him down its over, to me chicago has given Miami all they can however they fall 3 straight times, what do you think that something magical’s gonna happen and chicago comes back and win 3 straight games???? Chil Please…..

  10. philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Allow me to help Mav Fans think about this for a minute, Derrick Rose MVP has the #1 defense with him and he is down 1-3 right? Dirk finally got hot in the Playoffs and now you all are claiming him to be legendary? Dont get me wrong Dirk is good but he aint great.. Like i said in one of my previous Post Miami is unpredictable, Defense is what we stand for and to beat a great offense is excellent defense.

    • david8726 - May 26, 2011 at 4:38 PM

      You’re not giving Dirk enough credit. He’s a former MVP in his own right.

      The dude is a great player. He’s the most skillful offensive player in the NBA and if the Heat make it to the playoffs, he’ll be a tough cover for anyone we put on him.

  11. blueintown - May 26, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Man, a lot of you people just need to shut the hell up.

    Fighting on a comment board is like wearing a fedora. You look like an a-hole.

    • david8726 - May 26, 2011 at 4:39 PM

      And yet here you are posting with us.

      This is a sports board – A place where you comment on and debate sports.

      Either join the debate or GTFO.

      • philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 4:45 PM

        exactly GTFO lol moving on.. I do give Dirk Credit i have watched his game he is definately a skilled player offensively? Scouting report on DIrk.. He is not a Defensive Player, he is Dangerous with jump and fade away shots, this tells me he is not legendary or a all around player, he can be stopped if not definately limited.

      • dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 5:17 PM

        Dirk is Legendary!!!

  12. philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    @Chicago240 that was a FLUKE game stop being in Denial.. what about that game showed it wasnt a Fluke?? Did they Blow out Miami again?? Chicago and Boston thought The Miami they played in the season is the same Miami they will be facing again that is crumble in the 4th, Chicago is good until next year when they have the opportunity to upgrade Miami is Better ! Enough said..

  13. miamatt - May 26, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Game 1 was no fluke, I give the Bulls credit. Make no mistake, though, Miami is clearly the better team, they have out-defensed the Bulls, out-muscled them, and out-coached them. And to bring up the regular season head to head record? Desperate and pathetic.

    • philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      Bulls get credit for not Giving up unlike the Lakers…. But a Fluke is a Fluke since they werent able to blow out Miami again in this series

    • chicago240 - May 26, 2011 at 5:31 PM

      That’s all I’m saying. The game wasn’t a fluke. A fluke is when Korver starts shooting WIDE open threes off the rim consistently. A fluke is when Haslem comes off the bench out of nowhere and puts in a game saving performance. Frankly, a fluke is when Wade has so many sub-par performances in a row…..he’s just waiting to bust out. Beware Kurt Thomas being tonight’s out of nowhere difference maker. Chicago by 8. Goodnight gentlemen.

      • philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 5:50 PM

        What are you talking about .. Haslem averages around 12 points 8reb per game that my friend is fact, The man did his Job and he continues to produce after that night.. DWade is a top 5 player in the NBA he single handly took out the Mavs in 06 not once but 4 times .. how can you mention his name in a Fluke? before this season who knew about Korver huh? exactly no one.. I BET all you guys are hoping and Praying for a miracle from Kurt Thomas? Chil Please…

      • david8726 - May 26, 2011 at 6:06 PM

        Chicago240,

        Game-1 has proven to be a fluke because it’s the only game where you guys have absolutely crushed us on the boards. It was close to a +20 advantage for you guys if I recall correctly.

        Since then, rebounding totals have basically been even.

      • dallasdoobman - May 26, 2011 at 6:32 PM

        wade also had shaq & the refs so no he did not single handly beat the mavs in 06

  14. Rock DeAugustine - May 26, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    all the bulls need tonight is for Rose to only drive in transition, to PASS the f’in ball to scorers like Deng, Korver, and Boozer, and to not dribble and drop the ball every other drive. I swear his agent or a sneaker company is calling the plays…and the TNT analysts are NEGLIGENT in not pointing out his 28% shooting in game 4 and his massive number of turnovers. That said: Go Bulls

  15. philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Until the Bulls can Beat Miami by 20 points consistently in this Playoff series … that game 1 is a Fluke Dammit lol

    • philabadboy - May 26, 2011 at 6:46 PM

      @dallasdoobman

      game 3 2006 nba finals

      Wade 42 points Shaq 16

      game 4

      Wade 36 points Shaq 17

      game 5
      Wade 43 points Shaq 18

      game 6
      Wade 36 points Shaq 9

      Nowitzki?? averaging under 25 points !! Defense buddy so start worrying about 2 more stars to compliment Wade .. i wouldnt want to be a dallas fan right now lol

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