May 6, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) attempts to defend a shot by Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) in game one of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. The Bulls won 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s Not Overreact: This Bulls-Heat Series Will Only Go Five Games

Alright, alright, alright, I admit it — I messed up.  Didn’t see this one coming.  At all.

I predicted a Heat sweep of the Chicago Bulls.  I was wrong (so sue me).  I honestly believed that the Heat were going to crush an injured Chicago Bulls team that had just gone through a grueling seven-game series with the Brooklyn Nets.  This series was going to be like taking candy from a baby.

I still think that’s the case.

How many times is Nate Robinson going to score 27 points on 8-for-16 shooting?  The last time he had a field goal percentage of 50% or more was on April 27th…five games ago.  How many times are Ray Allen and Mike Miller going to go a combined 2-for-8 from three point range?  How many times will Dwyane Wade and LeBron James be the only Heat players with 10 or more points?

Folks, let’s not overreact — this was a fluke, plain and simple.

Call me a homer — fine.  Say that I’m completely irrational — whatever.  But if you think that the Chicago Bulls are going to be able to hang with this Miami Heat team for the next four games, you’re incredibly mistaken.

But…who’s going to be able to defend Nate Robinson?  Simple, Nate Robinson is 5′ 9”, so as long as Spoelstra puts somebody with a decent amount of speed and length (i.e. somebody not named Ray Allen)  to disrupt The Little Nate That Could then he shouldn’t go off for 20+ again.  Or if he does, at least make him shoot 20+ times.  You know Nate Robinson is going to chuck up horrible shots — that job is already accomplished — you just have to make sure he doesn’t get into a comfortable shooting rhythm.

But…what if Bosh keeps on sucking?  Bosh was 3-for-1o last game, and finished with nine points.  However, Bosh has had games where he’s sucked all year, and the Heat have prevailed (thanks to their bench production).  That being said, Bosh does need to step it up and I don’t even care if he improves on the offensive end or defensive end (preferably both), but he’s got to do better than two blocked shots and six rebounds, which is what he had last game.

But…how will the Heat beat the Bulls?  Two words: LeBron James.  The Bulls can’t guard him.  Nobody in the league and arguably nobody in NBA history could guard LeBron James (this last part is up for debate, and a discussion for another time).  The Heat need to start giving the ball to LeBron James and telling him to go into Game-Six-Against-Boston-F-U mode.

The other thing they need to do is attack the Bulls off the dribble.  The Bulls have a ton of height, but that means they are slower than the Heat.  The Heat need to run more pick-and-pops with Bosh, to spread the floor and move Chicago’s big men out of the paint.  This creates more space, and more driving lanes, which in turn will lead to better interior looks or open perimeter shots.

Oh and one last thing — LUOL DENG AND KIRK HINRICH ARE STILL GOING TO BE OUT OR NOT 100%.  This might not have been a factor in Game 1, but come Game 3 or Game 4 or Game 5, it is going to have a huge impact considering the likes of Jimmy Butler has already played every minute of the past three playoff games.

This series doesn’t go more than five games.  The Bulls got their win.  The Heat are pissed.  They’ve woken up and smelled the coffee. Let’s not overreact.

It’s over, Chicago.

Jae Bradley covers the Miami Heat for You can follow him @jaebradley.  

Tags: Chicago Bulls Miami Heat NBA Playoffs

  • Confucius

    Yet another child writer with a baby NBA tunnel vision that spans all of 5 years quick to proclaim the greatness of the Miami cHeat team and betting on sweep after sweep and correcting after the fact. Lay some knowledge on you kid – Play physical and The Three Stooges fold whine and cry like they did after the streak ending game look up the post game interviews. If there was such a thing as no touch basketball The Queen LeBald James would surely be the greatest ever. For all the Idiots that think he is imagine The Queen playing against the Bad Boy Pistons/Bulls/Celtics from the 90′s she wont average 12 points for the season and cry daily at this rate. And whoa superstar Wade you love crunching numbers eh what is the percentage of jumpers Wade take theatrically falling into his defender and crying and complaining for fouls more than half yea its not his fault that NBA wants this franchise to win he is simply taking away from the purity of the game. And maybe you were running in pampers when the mental midget LeBald acknowledged that he needed a LOT of help to win anything. Can anyone imagine Jordan after the same winless period 6 years teaming up with Magic or Larry to win Championships no way these guys get paid max salaries to be competitors and not play GM and take the easiest way to the championship.

    All that said yea sure they MIGHT beat the Bulls with a 6 player rotation and at many times all min contract guys against highest paid total for three players on a team wow great job but no way in hell they would have swept or 5 games and even if and when they do they will have Pacers or Grizzlies waiting for them to dash any hopes of another championship with the PHYSICAL PLAY.