At a complete loss of words of what I just saw. The Chicago Bulls just pulled off a major upset in tonight’s second round opener, winning by the final score of 93-86. I bet you Eric Spolestra will be thrilled about this loss, as his message to the Heat to play hard throughout the game will not go unheard now.
Nate Robinson led the Bulls, as they outscored the Heat 35-24 in the final frame to pull off the win. Robinson finished the game with 27 points and 9 assists on 50% shooting. Jimmy Butler played all 48 minutes for the Bulls, notching 21 points and playing excellent defense on Lebron James at times.
The Miami Heat missed plenty of open threes and point blank layups in the first half that could have put the game out of reach. The failure to put the Bulls away caused the injury depleted team to gain confidence as the game went along.
The Heat entered the fourth with a four point and looked like they could take over the game a couple of times. By not finishing plays and missing even more open shots, the Heat could not bury the Bulls.
In that fourth quarter, the Bulls found a rhythm and did not miss their shots. Robinson hit a clutch three and a couple of open two-point shots. Butler knocked down a three that gave the Bulls a lead, but that was answered by a three by Ray Allen.
The Heat offense in the fourth returned to the “hero ball” mess we saw during the 2010-2011 playoffs that was highly criticized. The Bulls frustrated the Heat by playing physical and the Heat had no response.
Dwyane Wade and Lebron James were the only players to score in double digits for the Heat, with Lebron leading the way with 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Chris Bosh was just 3-10 with 9 points, but he did collect 6 rebounds. Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, Ray Allen, and Shane Battier combined to shoot 7-24 from the field, including just 4-18 shooting from beyond the arc.
No reason to panic for Heat fans, they are still the superior team in the series. A stronger effort in the first and being able to knock down their open shots will get the Heat back on track for the rest of the series.
The Heat just toyed with the Milwaukee Bucks at times in the first series, but they were a team that was lucky to be in the playoffs. The Bulls are too well coached and play too hard for the Heat to overlook them. When the Heat are presented a chance to kick the Bulls when they are down in Game 2 and the rest of the series, they need to take advantage.
It is time though for Coach Spo to go back to his championship lineup. The Lebron-Wade-Allen-Battier-Bosh lineup is the best lineup for the Heat and should be the lineup the Heat close games with. Battier needs to be put in the starting lineup replacing Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller needs to be worked back into the rotation.
Here is a look at some key numbers for Game 1:
Shooting Percentage: Heat (39%) Bulls (44%)
Three Point Shooting: Heat (29%) Bulls (39%)
Rebounds: Heat (32) Bulls (46)
Assists: Heat (20) Bulls (20)
Free Throw Shooting: Heat ( 17-25, 68%) Bulls (24-29, 83%)
Think these numbers make it obvious on what the Heat need to improve on in Game 2 on Wednesday.
PS: Stay away from ESPN for the next two days if you want to keep your sanity.