(photo by: nba.si.com)
There were talks about the Miami Heat going 16-0 in the playoffs but the Chicago Bulls had other thoughts. The Bulls surprised NBA fans last night by stealing game 1 from Miami. The final score was 93-86 and a lot of the credit can be given to the defense of Chicago. Although LeBron(24 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists) had his usual efficient performance yesterday, the Bulls managed to keep King James from unleashing his fury in the fourth quarter. Chicago is a grind-it-out kind of team and they play that way in every minute of each game.
A lot of players on Chicago have been performing at an optimal level during the playoffs and seem to be carrying that into this semifinal series against the defending NBA champs. Joakim Noah is gutting it out on every play, while playing with plantar fasciitis! Things like that is what can get Chicago over the hump against Miami. Carlos Boozer is a workhorse in the inside. 5’9″(if that!) Nate Robinson is trending on twitter because of the way that he seems to put Chicago on his back in the ladder part of the game. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has placed Jimmy Butler and Marco Belinelli in the starting lineup and they are playing like absolute studs out there, hitting big shots and making huge defensive stops! The Bulls are certainly undermanned as a result of the absences of Luol Deng( possible meningitis) and Derrick Rose(ACL) but they are not going to lay down against Miami.
Should the Heat be afraid of the Bulls now that they are down 0-1? It’s too early to tell because of the 6’8″, 250-pounder by the name of LeBron James. Yes, the Miami Heat do have three other future hall-of-famers( Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen) plus a couple of other solid role players but we all know that the Heat go as LBJ goes. That’s a fact and last night made LeBron’s duties even more evident. In order for the Heat to ward off a potential upset of the Bulls, King James has to dominate the floor at all times. He played good last night but he did not dominate, which is why Chicago came out with a victory. Nate Robinson and company sort of shook South Beach up a little bit in game 1. Maybe LeBron can rally his troops and retaliate with a win in game 2. Game 2 will tipoff at 7:00 PM ET tomorrow. The Bulls see red but I have a feeling that LeBron is going to show the world why he is the king of Miami!