Skip to content

Bulls beat Heat, show why nobody wants to face them in playoffs

Mar 9, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

Joakim Noah AP

One day doesn’t change that the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are destined to meet in the Eastern Conference Finals.

What Sunday showed is why on the path to that show do neither of those teams wants to see the Chicago Bulls.

Sunday at home against the Miami Chicago was relentless, physical, they defended well, they take away the easy buckets so you have to work for every point. They take a lot out of whomever they face.

That’s what happened to Miami on Sunday in Chicago. The Heat pulled ahead by 12 early in the fourth quarter but the Bulls battled back, made enough shots down the stretch and forced the game to overtime, where they dominated and beat Miami 95-88.

Joakim Noah continued his run of play that inspires MVP chants with 20 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks. A couple weeks back he was frustrated with his team’s collapse late in Miami, so this time he put the Bulls offense on his back when they need points — he finds a way to get buckets. Not pretty buckets, but buckets. More importantly, on defense he can and did switch picks on to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and can lock them up. D.J. Augustin came off the bench to provide a 22-point spark for the Bulls. Jimmy Buttler had 16 points and 11 boards (plus a key strip of LeBron late). That was enough offense to get the job done.

However, as always the Bulls won with defense. LeBron James shot 8-of-23, struggling with his jumper going left all game — he can’t blame the sleeves this time — plus he never got to the free throw once. Dwyane Wade carried the Heat offense for long stretches and scored 25 points on 16 shots, and Chris Bosh chipped in 15. However, as a team the Heat shot just 40.5 percent and were 7-of-20 from three.

The Heat played strong defense as well, with Chicago shooting just 42.2 percent on the game. However when they needed it they were able to generate offense, something the Heat struggled to do.

Chicago came out playing good defense from the start and held the Heat to 41.2 percent shooting in the first half. It was close through the second quarter and the Bulls led until Miami went on 15-0 run late in second half. That run happened when Bulls missed and the Heat pushed in transition and converted. Chicago went 0-of-10 shooting with a 24-second violation in the mix during a scoreless five minute stretch and Miami converted the misses into transition buckets — Bosh got one on a great pass from Chalmers, then LeBron James had one also.

Heat lead 43-37 at half.

Miami stretched that lead out a little in the third quarter and early in the fourth got it up to a dozen.

But the Bulls never quit. Ever. They are the Terminator of basketball teams, and they wore down the Heat and caught them.

This matchup has been a feisty, physical rivalry for a few years now, the Bulls just play the Heat tough. In a seven game series Chicago would lack the scoring to keep up as Miami adjusted, but Chicago would wear them down. The Bulls would wear down Indiana as well.

Chicago, even without Derrick Rose, is the third best team in the East. They are the team to avoid in the East.

Latest Posts
  1. Lance Stephenson shows he’s on fire, ready for Charlotte (Instagram)

    Jul 28, 2014, 2:04 AM EDT

    Lance letting us know where his loyalties lie.

  2. Zach LaVine throws down some crazy dunks at Seattle Pro-Am (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Draft Getty Images

    The 2015 Slam Dunk Contest champion might have already been decided.

  3. Paul Millsap receives last minute invite to USA Basketball mini-camp

    Jul 27, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks - Game Six Getty Images

    Millsap gets the call as a late addition after Blake Griffin and Kevin Love dropped out in the last few days.

  4. Report: Kevin Garnett eyes post-basketball position with Nets

    Jul 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Newly acquired Brooklyn Net's NBA player Kevin Garnett listens during a news conference introducing him in Brooklyn Reuters

    KG is likely coming back for his 20th NBA season, but may be setting himself up for something more with the Nets one his playing days are finished.

  5. LeBron announces he’ll wear No. 23 with Cavaliers

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    LeBron James LeBron James

    LeBron makes yet another momentous decision.

  6. Report: Lakers won’t use stretch provision on Steve Nash

    Jul 27, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    L.A. will keep Nash on the roster for the upcoming season, and take the cap hit for the $9.7 million remaining on his contract all at once.

  7. Rumor: NBA to open 2014-15 season with Spurs at Cavaliers

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v San Antonio Spurs Cleveland Cavaliers v San Antonio Spurs

    Only other possibility would have been LeBron facing the Heat, but that feels more like Christmas.

  8. Report: Lakers say ‘no done deal’ with Byron Scott

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

    Byron Scott

    Team downplays ESPN report that a contract has been agreed upon.

  9. Donatas Motiejunas doesn’t think Rockets should have paid Chandler Parsons James Harden money

    Jul 27, 2014, 9:29 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Would Harden have been offended if he and Parsons made similar money?

  10. Report: Lakers, Byron Scott agree to four-year, $17 million deal to coach team

    Jul 26, 2014, 11:37 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers  v Miami Heat Getty Images

    The negotiations was over years and the fourth year is a team option.

  11. Report: Several teams interested in free agent Michael Beasley

    Jul 26, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - 2014 NBA Finals Game Three San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - 2014 NBA Finals Game Three

    Beasley is an unrestricted free agent, and some team will almost certainly take a chance on him next season.

  12. Kevin Love trade talk: He doesn’t want to opt in to deal, Cavs may live with that

    Jul 26, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Kevin Love Kevin Love

    If Kevin Love will not opt-in to the last year of his deal, would you still give up Wiggins for him?

  13. Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah swats away children’s shots (VIDEO)

    Jul 26, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Joakim Noah Joakim Noah

    Nobody scores on Joakim Noah, 7-year-old youth included.

  14. Paul George says his favorite rookie memory was when his coach got fired

    Jul 26, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Paul George Paul George

    Being inserted into the starting lineup might have something to do with it.

  15. Kevin Love leaving Team USA not helpful, certainly not devastating either

    Jul 26, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    US forward Kevin Durant and US forward K Getty Images

    Kevin Durant is the perfect international power forward anyway.

Featured video

Why can't Lakers have a player-coach?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. T. Warren (4351)
  2. L. James (4143)
  3. K. Love (4078)
  4. J. Nelson (3562)
  5. R. Allen (3354)
  1. C. Anthony (2894)
  2. K. Bryant (2572)
  3. D. Rose (2537)
  4. A. Wiggins (2515)
  5. A. Aminu (2030)