Oh, Derrick Rose is not playing in Game 3? Yawn.
Can we all agree that Derrick Rose will not (and should not) come back for this series? We all know the Bulls are going to lose this series (I’m not even being cocky, ask any Bulls fan if they thought they would win this series) because the Heat are just too talented for the Bulls. Is it worth risking a Rose come back in a pointless series? Is it worth risking the future of your franchise?
In addition, can Derrick Rose even contribute in a physically and mentally tough environment like the NBA playoffs? Probably not. Remember that Derrick Rose hasn’t even played a game this season. There’s no way anybody, even a superstar of D-Rose’s caliber, can come back and help his team. In all likelihood, D-Rose would probably end up hurting his team because of his rustiness.
Here are my three keys to tonight’s game:
- The Heat Need To Keep Up Their Hot Shooting From Three — LeBron/Wade drives and kicks to Allen/Miller/Battier/Cole who is open at the three point line (usually the corner). Knock down the three or pump fake and get an even better shot. Repeat.That’s the Heat’s offense in a nutshell and it works really freakin’ well, especially in Game 2. Norris Cole was 4-for-4 from three point range. The Heat were a combined 9-18 (50%) from three point range in Game 2 and 42-70 (60%) on all shots. The Heat’s drive-kick action forces the Bulls to overreach defensively and leads to good looks for the Heat’s plethora of jump shooters. The Heat need to execute and hit their open jump shots in order to be successful offensively in Game 3.
- The Heat Can’t Forget To Guard Nate Robinson — The Heat shut down Nate Robinson (and to be honest, the entire Bulls offense) in Game 2. Little Nate was a paltry 3-for-10 and had only 11 points. Little Nate is such a gifted offensive player and ball-handler that I think he’s the key to the entire Bulls offense. Boozer gets his looks for his foul-line jumper when the Heat sag in anticipation of a Little Nate drive. Belinelli gets his open three point looks when the Heat have to rotate help and leave Marco open. Little Nate is the Bulls offense, and the Heat can’t let off the defensive intensity just because they bottled up Little Nate in Game 2.
- The Heat Need To Show A Little Nasty — The thing I loved the most about Game 2? How explicit it was that these teams do not like each other. At all. In this day and age of opposing players giving each other dap before games, or engaging in some post-warmup hugging, it was refreshing and exciting to see teams that clearly do not like each other get into it. We know the Bulls can bang and grind and grit it out — and I think the Heat’s main lesson from this series is to check whether they too have sufficient grit and toughness. And I think that if the Heat do have that toughness we will see it tonight with the playing in Chicago for the first time since the Bulls ended The Streak. Not gonna lie, I want to see at least five technical fouls and three shoving matches before halftime.