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Awakened Heat undress Bulls by 37 to even series 1-1

May 8, 2013, 10:51 PM EDT

Miami Heat's LeBron James reacts after he was fouled as he stands with Chris Andersen during Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference semi-final basketball playoff against the Chicago Bulls in Miami Reuters

In Game 1, Chicago outworked the Heat and we saw what the Heat look like when things don’t go their way.

In Game 2 Wednesday night, Miami outworked the Bulls and we saw what the Bulls looked like when things don’t go their way —it was ugly. Like Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson get ejected ugly. And that was probably good for them, they didn’t have to witness any more of this game.

In the end it was a 115-78 Heat win, the worst loss in Bulls playoff history. It looked like what you most feared could happen when an injury-riddled team ran into a highly motivated, talented side. And to make it worse when things went poorly for them the Bulls lost their composure.

The series is tied 1-1 and heading back to Chicago where you know the Bulls will put up a better fight. We’ll see if that is enough.

A few things went much better for the Heat in Game 2 (compared to their Game 1 loss), and that started with LeBron James. His 19 points and 9 assists are not dominating numbers, but early in the game he started to open things up with his drives — he started 6-of-6 in the first quarter and all the shots were in the restricted area. He got to the rim. The Bulls adjusted to that but then he dished out to shooters, things opened up for the Heat offense and the rout started to be on.

The other key was the Heat defense shut down the good looks the Bulls got in Game 1 — and Chicago couldn’t knock down the bad looks they hit anyway in Game 1. Nate Robinson, who has been the catalyst for the Bulls hitting pull up jumpers and dicing up opposing defenses, started out 0-of-4 from the floor and finished the game 3-of-10 for 11 points.

As a team the Bulls shot just 35.5 percent against a much more active Heat defense for the game.

The first half of the game had no flow, and while we’d like to credit the defenses for that we should really thank the referees — there were 28 personal fouls, five technical fouls and one flagrant foul all in the first half (nine techs for the game). While the game was more physical and at times chippy, the referes seemed to try to control the emotions with their whistles. Sometimes bad whistles (both ways, the referees were equal opportunity bad). That worked about as well as it always does.

Because of the lack of flow and both teams struggled from the floor for stretches, but the Heat still started finding points behind LeBron, who had all 19 of his points at the half. The Bulls helped with that — Chicago turnovers became Miami transition points. The Heat were not blowing out the Bulls much of the first 24 minutes, but they seemed more comfortable and were getting cleaner looks. Miami led 55-41 at the break.

Then in the third quarter the Heat blew it all wide open. Miami shot 59.1 percent in the quarter to Chicago’s 23.5 percent (4-of-17) and that led to a 30-15 third quarter romp for the Heat. The Heat lead was 19 by the end of the quarter and the fourth was really just extended garbage time.

Marco Belinelli led the Bulls in scoring with 13 points, but he needed 13 shots to get there. Ray Allen led the Heat with 21 points and Miami got a good game out of Norris Cole at both ends — 18 points and he is part of the reason Nate Robinson struggled.

The Bulls will play better and keep it closer once they get on their home turf. You know no Tom Thibodeau team will roll over, regardless of who does or doesn’t suit up for Game 3.

But will it be enough remains the question. The Heat had a lot of things go their way in Game 2, but they also looked vastly superior overall. It wasn’t perfect for Miami — Dwyane Wade still looked hobbled and LeBron didn’t need to score but he could. Yet the Heat defense was more what we saw during the season and the Bulls had no answers for all of it put together. And that frustrated them.

They won’t be frustrated next game, but with not a lot of arrows in the quiver it will be a lot harder for Tom Thibodeau to respond.

  1. jbeagles23 - May 9, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Miami pushed back lastnight and the bulls couldn’t handle their own game. And I guarantee bird man will do that to bellinelli in Chicago. The pacers are a tough team. The bulls act tough. Big difference

  2. canehouse - May 9, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Can’t wait for Friday night… LET’S GO HEAT!!

    • cantonbound13 - May 9, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      Maybe Chicago will get at least 1 of their 3 missing starters back.

      • heat256 - May 9, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        Glad all the Bulls apologists will have that excuse ready to whip out at a moment’s notice. Shouldn’t you be worrying about JR Smith getting benched for stinking up the floor with his crappy shot selection?

      • cantonbound13 - May 9, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        not worried at all. Series is tied much like yours.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        Crappy shot selection lmao. Typical brainwashed Heat fan. Not only brainwashed to worship the Heat, but to believe everything that is said about JR. His shots have almost all been good looks that didn’t drop. But don’t let what the talking heads repeat over and over without actually watching games influence your “thinking.”

  3. keasy3000 - May 9, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Did anybody notice Lebron changed his free throw shooting motion to mimic what Ray Allen does? And from what I saw, he wasn’t very successful with it. Awfully strange time to switch up your free throw routine, I say.

  4. asublimeday - May 9, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Heat lost home court. Keep talking trash, heat “fans”.

    We got you right where we want you.

    • heat256 - May 9, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Wouldn’t you want us down 2-0, instead of coming off of a 37 point demolishing. Yeah, you guys are master tacticians.

  5. mungman69 - May 9, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    The Heat can’t be beat.

    • cantonbound13 - May 9, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      Do you realize they lost game1 & the Bulls were missing 3 key starters?

      • cwilson6843 - May 9, 2013 at 9:07 PM

        You’re an idiot

  6. steelers4385 - May 9, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Hahahaha. Change up 39. Good one. Literally dying when i read that.

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