Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Clipper broadcaster accidentally casts MVP ballot for Most Improved Player

    Apr 23, 2014, 9:23 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies Getty Images

    He has Durant, LeBron and Griffin on his MIP list… but it makes a good MVP ballot.

  2. Allen Iverson documentary trailer debuts (VIDEO)

    Apr 23, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    Allen Iverson Allen Iverson

    The documentary will be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend.

  3. Report: Hawks assistant Quin Snyder in mix for Jazz job, too

    Apr 23, 2014, 6:41 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat

    Utah needs a coach good at player development, Synder could be a fit.

  4. PBT Extra: How ’bout them Wizards?

    Apr 23, 2014, 5:49 PM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics Getty Images

    CSNWashington.com’s Wizards insider talks about the best story line in the playoffs so far.

  5. Rockets coach Kevin McHale explains the difference between good and bad players

    Apr 23, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT

    Kevin McHale AP

    McHale jokes with a reporter by making a painfully obvious observation.

  6. Ron Harper expects to interview for Knicks’ coaching vacancy

    Apr 23, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT

    Ron Harper Ron Harper

    Harper worked as Pistons assistant for two years

  7. Flip Saunders on coaching the Timberwolves himself: ‘You never know’

    Apr 23, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

    Flip Saunders Flip Saunders

    Timberwolves president coached Minnesota, Detroit and Washington before taking current job

  8. Report: Frank Vogel “coaching for his job” in wake of team’s slide

    Apr 23, 2014, 12:39 PM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Indiana Pacers - Game Two Getty Images

    It would be a mistake, but the Pacers’ slide has everyone on edge in Indy.

  9. Phoenix’s Goran Dragic runs away with Most Improved Player

    Apr 23, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT

    Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis

    Lance Stephenson was second, Anthony Davis third, but they were well back of Dragic.

  10. Baylor’s Isaiah Austin declares for NBA draft

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Traevon Jackson, Isaiah Austin Traevon Jackson, Isaiah Austin

    7-foot-1, athletic with 3-point range — what’s not to like? A decent amount

  11. Frank Vogel not afraid to make adjustments, but the one he didn’t make might make the difference

    Apr 23, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

    vogelhibbert

    Frank Vogel resisted the urge to do anything dramatic and trusted his team to make little changes. It worked.

  12. Mario Chalmers questionable for Game 2

    Apr 23, 2014, 10:32 AM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat

    Heat will need point guard more later than against Bobcats

Featured video

Wizards playing spoiler in East
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. A. Jefferson (3249)
  2. K. Durant (3134)
  3. D. Wade (3089)
  4. D. Rose (2904)
  5. L. James (2768)
  1. J. Noah (2662)
  2. K. Bryant (2596)
  3. A. Bogut (2381)
  4. S. Curry (2232)
  5. D. Howard (2219)