CHICAGO – Last time around, when Chicago and Miami met, Lebron James and Joakim Noah were not participants. Chris Bosh got hurt and the Bulls bench handles the job.
This time it’s different.
Both teams are full strength and firing on all cylinders.
Tonights game will be the first true matchup for the Bulls against the Heat and it will say alot about the Bulls. The Celtics, the best team in the East, has man-handled the Heat everytime they have played each other. If the Bulls, the third best team in the East, want to keep pace with Boston and remain a powerhouse in the East, then they need to beat the Heat.
The Privilaged Kings
The Heat have been crowned kings in the East without really winning anything. They are winning no better than the Celtics or Bulls when you think about it, mere games separate these teams. ESPN was ready to cancel the season and just crown the Heat champs thus saving us the time of watching it happen.
Chicago can de-thrown the almost kings.
Lebron, Wade and Bosh are looking to destroy everything in their path and smile at you after they leave you in the dust. They are that cocky guy who knows they are good and let you know before, during and after they play you. Except they can’t gloat if they don’t win.
Noah’s Return Spells Trouble for Heat
The teams are really evenly matched. Bosh is cancelled out by Noah, Wade is cancelled out by Boozer and Rose cancels out LBJ. Even James Jones is cancelled by Kyle Kover’s deadly three point ability off the bench. Plus the Bulls are unstoppable at the United Center and when the place fills up it gets loud and uncomfortable for opposing teams fast.
The main factor in tonights game is Joakim Noah. Having him back means the Bulls defense, which is one of the best in the NBA, got a lot better. However last night may be something the Heat point to to say “See, look! They aren’t THAT good”. Chicago is hoping it’s just a fluke. After all the defense did give up 118 points to the Raptors.
“It’s definitely not the result I wanted, but we’ve just got to keep fighting,” Noah said of the loss. “We’ve got to come with a better edge.”
Another reason Chicago has the edge tonight is Derrick Rose. The Bulls have arguably the league’s first half MVP and possibly the league MVP come the end of the season. There is no Lebron talk or Wade talk. Just Rose talk and that’s a huge edge for the Bulls. Rose is averaging 30 points in his las six games and give the Bulls a spark when needed. Look for Rose to utilize Boozer, Deng, Noah and players off the bench to overpower the three trick pony that is the Miami Heat.
The Heat are still nothing to be taken likely. They may be 1-6 against teams that are serious championship contenders, but they do still have three of the most dominating players in the game. And they’re ready to play Chicago for real this time.
“Me and D-Wade talked before the game … and said ‘Let’s go out and dominate this game,”‘ James said.
We’ll see Miami, we will see.
The Bulls and Heat play tonight on TNT at 7pm.