Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls: Preview, Analysis and Predictions
The Miami Heat (56-14) are traveling to take on the Chicago Bulls (38-31) in a nationally televised game that everyone should be watching.
Because the Heat have extended their winning streak to 27 games, they are getting within striking distance of the all-time record.
Will they be able to accomplish this lofty feat, or will the Bulls dethrone the champs and ruin Miami’s chance at history?
Keep reading to find out where to watch the game, the latest injury report, players to keep an eye on and more in our Bulls vs. Heat preview.
When: Wednesday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: United Center, Chicago
Live Stream: ESPN3
Bulls Injury Report (via USA Today)
G Marco Belinelli, Questionable, Abdominal
C Joakim Noah, Questionable, Foot
G Richard Hamilton, Out, Back
G Derrick Rose, Out, Knee
Heat Injury Report (via USA Today)
G Dwyane Wade, Questionable, Knee
Key Storyline: Miami’s Winning Streak
Dwyane Wade has sat the past two games, but the Miami Heat still managed to destroy the Charlotte Bobcats and then Orlando Magic to push their historical win streak to 27 straight games.
LeBron James has been absolutely incredible during this stretch, averaging 27.0 points (57.5 percent FG and 37.4 percent 3PT), 8.1 rebounds, 8 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.0 block per game
Will the Heat break the 33-game record?
He’s without a doubt locked up a second straight regular season MVP award and is now chasing the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ 33-game streak—a record many thought would stand the test of time.
However, Chicago has long been a thorn in Miami’s side and would love nothing more than to end the run on Wednesday.
With an entry into the record book in sight, the Heat are going to have to dig deep in each contest. Every opponent they face is going to be giving its all, especially to prevent being a footnote in the history books.
The Bulls play some of the toughest defense in the league and have put together back-to-back wins to build some momentum for this upcoming, nationally televised showdown.
Expect a back-and-forth battle between two rivals that don’t want to concede a single point to the opposition.
Key Player to Watch: Carlos Boozer
While Boozer has been a relative disappointment during his time in Chicago, he’s often stepped up his play against the best competition. Because of this, you can believe the power forward will bring his A-game against the Heat on Wednesday.
During the Bulls' two matchups with Miami during the 2012-13 season, the 31-year-old has averaged 19.5 points on 65.4 percent shooting, 11.5 rebounds and two assists per contest.
Boozer was instrumental in Chicago’s January 4 upset against its rival, putting up 27 points and 12 rebounds in 42 minutes for a 96-89 road victory.
If the PF is working hard, cleaning the glass and using his strength and size (6’9”, 266 pounds) to outmuscle the Heat bigs, there is a chance, albeit small, that the Bulls snap Miami’s epic win streak.
Which team will win?
When all is said and done, the Heat are the better team (especially with Derrick Rose sidelined) and haven’t had any difficulties playing on the road. For that reason, we’re giving them the edge in this one.
Even if Wade remains hobbled due to a bruised right knee, King James will be able to carry Miami to victory, as long as his supporting cast continues its stellar play.
While this game will certainly be close, we expect a late surge by the Heat will be the difference here and they will win by at least six points during their last trip to the United Center this season.
Heat 99 – Bulls 92
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