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It’s not a playoff game, but Heat’s win over Bulls felt like one

Apr 20, 2012, 12:26 AM EDT

Miami Heat's LeBron James moves against Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida Reuters

Tell me you don’t think the Eastern Conference Finals are going to be fun… that felt like a rivalry game.

The Miami Heat’s 83-72 win over the Chicago Bulls is not an indication of how a playoff series between these teams plays out — not with Bulls MVP Derrick Rose and the Heat’s Chris Bosh in street clothes. Besides, by the time we get a month into the playoffs these teams will have evolved and be different.

But the Heat did send a message — not to the Bulls, but to themselves. One week ago the Bulls beat the Heat with ferocity and execution Miami could not match. Derrick Rose sat out the overtime and the Bulls outscored the Heat 8-2. This week the Heat matched that intensity and showed some execution of their own. The message was clear — we’re here and we’re not backing down

We did get a glimpse of what is to come in the playoffs… and these teams don’t like each other. It was intense, it was chippy, it felt like a playoff game. Dwyane Wade picked up a flagrant foul for throwing Rip Hamilton around like a rag doll. Hamilton spent all game trying to get under Wade’s skin. When those two line up against each other night after night for seven games it is going to be bloody good entertainment. Maybe literally.

The Heat came out and matched the physicality of the Bulls. They pushed back. At times a little too hard, like when James Jones cross-checked Joakim Noah and was ejected.

In the end the Heat won because LeBron James is playing very well right now — 27 points on 18 shots, plus 11 boards. They won because Udonis Haslem was attacking the rim and Mario Chalmers was in the middle of everything — they need their role players to step up. They won because Wade won the battle with Rip for a night.

Oh, the Eastern Conference finals are going to be fun. This intensity was only the tip of the iceberg.

  1. dirtybird2020 - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    We can beat celtics what are these lames talking about, we consistantly manhandle this team! Knicks are a team to be scared of as long as they dont start bibby! Good luck with the knicks fricken tards, celtics are written off since they got rid of perkins!

    • mikeewright7 - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      ManHandled us? when? ohh last year or beginning of the season when we were sluggish?
      what happened the last 2 times they played each other? I believe We (CELTICS) manhandled you guys, gave you worst lost of the season! sp dirtybird2020 hop off what happened last year,if thats the case you were ManHandled by Mavs!…

      this year Celtics 2 Miami-1

  2. asublimeday - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    the best pg in the game? let me get some of what your smoking. if you said best “tweener, undersized 2 guard that should does not make his teammates better” than maybe. actually nevermind, westbrook is better than him at that too.
    “tweeter”, the 150-pound, 5’8″ nerd types about an elite athlete

  3. jh4prez - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I love seeing the heat play with an can call them cheap shots if ya want but its still a mans love to see old school hardcore 90’s style playoffs.i want heat/knicks with melo trying to choke the king and spolstra grabbing on to a guys leg being dragged around like a rag doll!lol!

  4. seattlesuperchronic - Apr 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Scared Bulls fans, all of you. Why does it matter when someone became a Heat fan? I’m happy when my team has more fans. All of you Bulls fans wouldn’t care if you thought you stood a chance. Enjoy watching the finals at home with your fraudulent MVP.

  5. drewdatwit84 - Apr 20, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    They all trash LeBron. Imagine how much they’d glorify him if he took his talents to the South Side instead of South beach…
    I do remember Miami beating Chicago WITH Derrick Rose this season AND 4 of 5 games last playoffs. U can hate all u want, but u know it for a fact: the Miami Heat at their average are still better than the Chicago Bulls at their best. If the Heat lost to the Bulls then someone on the Heat had a bad game. But the Heat on all cylinders versus the Bulls with superpowers, the Heat still win.
    Oh, and Noah is a bitch. I swear, that dude is on some raw Arab/Colombian opium.

    • gmsingh - Apr 21, 2012 at 7:02 PM

      Dude, your comment makes no sense: we had the exact opposite of LeBron on the South Side–Michael Jordan. Instead of never being able to close out games he could *always* close out games. And won six championships. Really, after having the most competitive guy in the history of basketball in town do you really think LeBron would look like any less of a pantywaist? Really?

  6. turnmymicup - Apr 20, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    I love when ppl blame us for having star power. How can the Miami Heat fans be blamed for having a great leader like Pat Riley? Is it our fault we have South Beach and beautiful people? Maybe you should leave your miserable cities and come down here. Youll quickly see why Lebron made the right decision.

  7. dirtybird2020 - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    If ur memory was right you would remember there was no dang either, where the hell were you queers a week ago!?!?!? Chitown would bang on you weak pu$$ys!

  8. canehouse - Apr 21, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    @ dirtybird… come on down punk! You’re talking a pretty big game… please come down, please… i would love to welcome you to Miami.

  9. canehouse - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    @ peterlowe… love my Marlins as much I love the Heat, Hurricanes, Dolphins, and Panthers… loved the Marlins especially when they wiped a monkey’s butt @ wrigley back in 03… still stings doesn’t it? I would have to say that it must really suck having one of your “awesome” fans play a footnote part in the Marlins 2nd World Series title… did you get that? 2nd title!!!! I am assuming that you’re a Cubs fan (sweet sweep this week)… only loser fan bases pound their bird chests about how loyal their fan base is. So pal…go eat a slice of deep dish and enjoy your miserable life as it relates to the fortunes of the team(s) that you follow over a cliff. Maybe we’ll see you and your slack jawed fan base in the ECF… HOPE SO!!!!!!

  10. asublimeday - Apr 22, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Lol @heat. The wizards are a JV team

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