Chicago had an opportunity to win the game in regulation and they had to. It was obvious to everyone involved that if the game went into overtime Miami would win. Overtime is a sprint, not a marathon, and this Heat team seems specifically built for sprints. Dwayne Wade who was contained for much of the game got loose in the extra period and made the Bulls pay for not being able to stop him. The Heat also made Chicago pay for not have someone who would attack the basket when Derrick Rose was doubled. The defense of Lebron James, as per usual, is greatly understated. He guarded Derrick Rose 1 on 1 two times at the end of regulation, and stopped him both times.
The Bulls had not one, not two, but three players who scored 20 points. They also played stellar defense but, they still lost the game. They dominated the paint and matched up about as well as anyone could with the big three and still lost the game. Mike Miller was a part of the reason why. He was a loose end. The one guy that everyone could count on to miss open shots because of his busted thumbs knocked down a couple of big three pointers and then hit a crazy crossover step back shot. I didn’t even think it was the same guy to be honest. It all seemed so . . . foreign. I guess it looked that way to the Bulls too because they were not prepared to stop him until he pretty much cut into their lead single-handedly. He provided Miami with 12 quick points and 9 rebounds. Dwayne Wade had an off night for most of the night but Lebron and Bosh both did their part to keep the Heat afloat for the entirety of the game. Bosh had 22 points and James would get yet another 30 point game in these playoffs scoring 35 points.
Derrick Rose was 8 of 27 scoring 23 points. He was 1 of 9 from beyond the arch but this number is inflated I think. Rose takes all of his teams bad shots. What I mean by that is that anytime the Bulls have a bad possession or the play breaks down, wether it’s Derrick’s fault or not, Chicago gets the ball back to him to try and score as time expires. As a result it’s always a three or a long two and it’s never a good shot. The Bulls need a new bailout plan. If not for the sole reason of catching the Heat off guard. Derrick takes bad shots because those are often times the shots that his team gives him. When the offense stagnates or a play just doesn’t work, Derrick is forced to be the playmaker and Miami is making that about as difficult as anything for him right now.
Carlos Boozer could have an article unto himself. Boozer provided 20 points and 11 rebounds but, he didn’t do anything defensively but get his team in trouble. The Heat picked on him in their pick on roll because it was easy points. Omer Asik wouldn’t have gotten beaten that easily. Boozer is a poor defender and often time plays pretend defense. He gets low like he’s actually doing something but Miami Heat players no matter their size or position blew by him again and again. Boozer may be a big body but he plays like his feet are stuck to the floor. Noah covers for him a lot and picks up his slack but, if Noah gets hurt or fouls out of the game Boozer would be exposed.
Chicago doesn’t have a real offense problem so much as a punishment problem. If a defense will double team your point guard then you ought to punish it for being that aggressive. The Bulls don’t have another player who will just attack the basket. Chicago also has the same problems any defense would have against the Heat. Who do you let beat you? If you contain Wade and James then Bosh will get you. Containment of all three leads to Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers and James Jones slipping through the cracks. This series could be over or it could be anything but. We’ll find out on Thursday.