Can the Bulls Pull it Together for Another Win Against the Heat?

After shocking the Miami Heat in Game 1, the Chicago Bulls got routed in Game 2 but put up a fight in the next game. But as they enter Game 4 on Monday, their luck may have run out.

Losing 104-94 in Friday’s Game 3, the Bulls gave it their all to make it a game but they could only do so much. Once they ceded control to the Heat with around four minutes remaining, the stronger team prevailed.

With the series at 2-1 for the Heat, it feels like it’s there’s to take. On Monday, Game 4 will again take place in Chicago.

What can the Bulls do for the win? Do they still have a chance?

They need to play better defense.

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh had 20 points with a career-high 19 rebounds while Norris Cole came off the bench with a second consecutive 18-point game–a match for his postseason career high.

Lucky for the Bulls, LeBron James had an “off night” as he hit 6 of 17 shots with a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.

Bosh said of Friday’s win via ESPN, “You can’t win a championship being pretty and shiny. You’re going to have to get dirty. You’re going to have to play physical. You’re going to have to dive on the floor. You’re going to have to do things that are extremely tough.

“I think people forget just two years ago we were a half-court, grind-it-out kind of team that was trying to beat you down. Just because we’ve moved to more of a free-flowing offense, we’re more spread a little bit, that doesn’t mean that we are just a run-and-gun team.”

The Bulls also need to keep scoring. 

Again the team will look to its top 5 in this series to lead in scoring on Monday. In Friday’s game, Carlos Boozer led with 21 points, followed by Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler with 17 points each. Joakim Noah contributed 15 points with 11 rebounds, and Marco Belinelli added 16 points.

Carlos Boozer

Carlos Boozer

For Boozer, Friday’s game was his best for the series. He has shown flashes of offensive leadership–like he did on Friday–and hopefully he’ll continue. From Games 1 and 2, he had 14 combined points. He plays better when he is confident, which allows opportunities to open up for his teammates.

And compared to them, he’s been keeping his cool.

The likelihood of Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng and Derrick Rose returning is not good and the team has learned to survive without them.

But they would be better with them and tempers would likely be flaring less.

Which is something else the Bulls need to do.

Stop getting ejected, hold your tempers.

On Friday, Nazr Mohammed saw his game come to an early end after he shoved James. He has since apologized for his actions. Mohammed, who has played in 63 Bulls games this season, was key in the team’s first round against the Brooklyn Nets.

It will be nice to have him back on the floor Monday.

Then there were the two ejections in Game 2: Noah and Taj Gibson. Gibson had two straight technical fouls called against him and then was by ejected by referee Scott Foster in the fourth quarter with 10:13 remaining.

He was also fined $25,000 by the league for verbal abuse toward an official. Gibson has also since apologized. As for Noah, there is no fine for his behavior.

And even coach Tom Thibodeau was starting to break after this long, frustrating season on Friday. Toward the game’s end, he stared down official Joey Crawford who stared right back at him. The Bulls coach has had enough and he’s starting to wear it on his sleeve.

But I expect him to change this on Monday which may be a good thing as the Heat are likely to get the win (-8, 187.5 o/u). They also sit at the top for the repeat in June at -275.

 

 

 

 

 

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