Rose-less Bulls Beat HEAT
By: Steve Rawnsley
Pat Riley has a great quote where he says, “no rebounds, no rings.” To say that the Heat got killed on the boards is an understatement. The Heat’s initial defense was good for the most part against the Bulls. The Heat held the Bulls to 45% shooting from the field. However, the Bulls had nineteen offensive rebounds, including six from Carlos Boozer, and that is what did the Heat in.
The Bulls’ relentlessness showed up. There might not be any more hard-nosed grind it out teams in the league. If you relax against the Bulls, even without Rose, you will pay the price., and the Heat paid with a loss. Not only did the Bulls offensive rebounding give the Heat trouble, but the Bulls interior passing was very noticeable in the game. Noah is leading all centers in assists per game at 4.4, and in this game he had four assists.
The Bulls defense was also on in the game, but the Heat also missed some open looks. The Heat are the second best three point shooting team in the league, but against the Bulls they went 5-20 from downtown. The Heat were getting good penetration, but it just was not the Heat’s night.
LeBron James got off to a quick start scoring six points in the first four minutes. Wade was not far behind scoring seven points in the first six minutes. However, the Bulls passing was beating the Heat as the Bulls scored eight of their first eleven points off assists. The Heat went scoreless in the first quarter after a LeBron James jumper with 3:33 left. The Bulls capitalized going ahead 26-22.
The Heat’s second unit did their job by taking back the lead early in the second quarter. They were lead by Norris Cole who scored six points in the second quarter. At the official timeout with 7:33 left, the Heat had a 34-30 lead the lead got up to seven a little past the halfway point in the second quarter before the Bulls countered. Nate Robinson countered with six points of his own in the quarter, and the Bulls took the lead into halftime after a Jimmy Butler buzzer beater 49-48.
The Bulls and Heat continued to trade buckets to start the second half. After a LeBron James three pointer the Heat were down three with 7:00 minutes left. After that though the Bulls went on a 13-7 run, and ended the quarter up 75-66. LeBron scored the first six points of the fourth quarter before the Bulls took a timeout with 9:22 left up by three. The Heat though could never get it any closer than that. Nobody outside of the Heat’s big three scored in the fourth quarter.
MVP: Carlos Boozer
He really killed the Heat on the boards, with six offensive rebounds. He finished the game with 27 points and 12 boards. He also went 12-17 from the field. The Heat just could not contain him.
Stat of the Night: 19 offensive rebounds for the Bulls
Rebounding was the story of the game. The Heat were outrebounded 48-28, including 19 offensive boards for the Bulls.