MIAMI — Nobody outside of Chicago had very high expectations for the Bulls heading into Game 3 against the Heat. The Bulls effectively lived up to those gutter expectations by getting drop kicked by another member of the Big 3 single handedly 96-85.
In Game 2 it was LeBron James and in Game 3 it was Chris Bosh who exploded for 34 points shooting an outstanding 13-18 from the field. To add to this, the other members of the Big 3 dropped 17 (Wade) and 22(James).
To counter this effort by the Heat the Bulls looked less than mildly impressive in the fourth quarter scoring 20 points and letting the Heat take control and close out. Derrick Rose was out scored and out played by Carlos Boozer who finished with 26 points to Rose’s 20. Now to see Boozer erupt like he did is great, but to do it in place of Rose is stomach turning.
The area the Bulls got killed in was rebounds and this is always going to be a way to not only beat the Bulls but any NBA team. If you want to put up more points than the other team, simply take the ball from them when they miss. Chicago did plenty of this Sunday shooting around 41%. The key stat in that is they took ten more shots than the Heat did and missed all ten.
The Bulls bench did outplay Miami which wasn’t the case in Game 2. Taj Gibson is continuing to show himself as a force with his 11 points off the bench. The rest of the bench to score (Korver, Watson and Brewer) posted 9. Miami’s bench managed 14 points betweent he efforts of Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem.
Carlos Boozer had 17 rebounds which is again amazing. But Joakim Noah had 5 which is the equivalent of Derrick Rose scoring 4 points in a game. Not to mention the embarrassing over the backboard air ball Noah shot down the stretch in the fourth.
Chemistry was also a bit off tonight for Chicago as it was more or less on fire for the Heat. When James, Bosh and Wade were on the court for the Heat they were +17, +13 and +12 in net points. When Rose, Boozer and Deng were on the court the Bulls were -11, -8 and -12. This is another telling statistic that shows what kind of a night the Bulls had.
Derrick Rose, a player who it seems Chicago rises ans falls with, went 42.1% from the field tonight but went to the free throw line just three times. The fact the Heat were able to neutralize Rose again should send doubtful chills down the Bulls spine. The night Rose had only shows that the Bulls need another offensive weapon. As well as Boozer played offensively, had that been combined with another 20 points from someone then the Bulls win Game 3 plain and simple.
But Miami has the advantage of already owning a system like that and proved what it can do when it faces an inferior oppenent and thats the way the Bulls played on Sunday. The bottom line is that you are in the Eastern Conference Finals and every game should be played with an unmatchable intensity. When your top rebounder gets just five and your top scorer gets just twenty points, thats not intense.
That’s strumming along.
Frustration is beginning to set in (obviously) and the Bulls need to get their act together. Game 2 may not have been a fluke, it is not appearing like it was Game 1 that was the fluke. Miami now has the momentum everyone wanted them to have, but don’t be foolish and count the Bulls out. Lets not forget that when Miami was getting all the attention during the season, Chicago snuck up on everyone like a rattlesnake and struck out of nowhere.
The Bulls may have played bad, but the Heat aren’t in the NBA Finals until they win two more games. Let’s not be foolish and forget that.
Game 4 is Tuesday in Miami.