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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eastern Conference Game 2 Quick Observations:

                  Miami 85              Chicago 75

Miami finally defeated the Chicago this season after previously being 0-5 against them. Its wasn’t pretty as both teams struggled to put points on the board but Miami pulled away in the fourth thanks to Lebron James. Miami played with the intensity and heart of a champion last night and the Bulls who had all the energy and extra pep in their step in game 1 couldn’t respond.

Here are a few quick notes on last night’s thriller:

 Udonis Haslem asserted himself as the potential X-factor of the series for Miami. As good as Taj Gibson played for the Bulls in game one, Haslem was even better for Miami in game 2. His contribution of 13 points, 5 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block was more than enough to get the Heat over the hump against the Bulls. He is the type of player who doesn’t need to ball to be effective. Every team needs a player like Haslem, who doesn’t mind doing the dirty work the superstars won’t do. His toughness has sorely been missed by Miami this year and if he continues to play at this level, it will be hard for the Bulls to win the series.

 Chicago only shot 34.1 percent and were outrebounded 45-41 by Miami for the first time in five meetings this year. The Bulls usually pound Miami on the offensive glass and it leads to second chance points but Miami finally came to rebound and thus were able to take home court from Chicago.

 MVP Derrick Rose wasn’t on top of his game. He scored 21 points on 7 of 23 shooting (only 2 points in the fourth quarter) and was fell victim to a couple of dunkface dunks by Haslem and of all people Jamaal Malgoire. Rose has to the offensive star that he is in order for Chicago to be able to win. He is only player the Bulls have that can create his own shot and even with Miami double teaming him and trapping his every move, he has to find a way to rise above and show why he was voted the most valuable player this year.

 When two teams are as evenly matched as these two are its all about the hustle, energy and effort. Chicago usually dominates most teams in that department as they did in game 1 against Miami. However game 2 was a totally different story as Haslem led a determined effort for the Heat. Miami was the team that was beating Chicago for loose balls and seemed to win every “50-50” play. Lebron even got in on the action as hit the deck a few times and battled the gritty Bulls for possession of the ball.

 So much has been made about how Lebron doesn’t have that clutch gene (as ESPN’s Skip Bayless so eloquently put it). Lebron nearly outscored the Bulls himself in the fourth quarter as he had 9 point to the Bulls 10. James broke opened the 73-73 tie as he made a tough 3-pointer and another tough shot over Derrick Rose. James fueled Miami’s 12-2 that sealed the game for them. I can remember watching and saying one of the three superstars on the court has to take over rather it be Derrick Rose, Lebron James, or Dwayne Wade (sorry Chris Bosh). It was James and this is the exact reason and moments that he was the most coveted free agent in basketball history. If these games continue to be tough grind it out types that always come down to the fourth quarter (as they should), it will be up to James, Wade, or Rose to finish off the other team. On this night it just happened to be King James getting his due.

Above all else it was highly entertaining game. Miami can now breathe easier as they finally beat Chicago and go back to South Beach tied 1-1. This series will only get more intense as both teams rest up and make adjustments. Next game is this Wednesday night and I can’t wait.


  1. Who saw Udonis going off like that? It's really good for a guy from nowhere to go off like that. I still hope the Bulls can split a game in Miami though. Can't Stand the Heat, with all the look how great we are, and if anybody doesn't agree then they whine about everything. I'm pulling for Derrick Rose to pull off a great one. I see it Chicago in 7

  2. I can't stand the Heat either. If they win, we will never hear the end of it. Even though they are probably the best team left in the playoffs, i think they can be beaten. The Bulls have to play that tough nosed defense that got them there. D Rose has to step up. But I think Dallas will give the best chanellge if they face them in the finals. Dirk would get to exercise those demons from from 2006 and cement his legacy.