Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls: 3 Players Who Must Step Up for Chicago

James Tillman III@@JTILLMAN9693Analyst IMarch 27, 2013

Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls: 3 Players Who Must Step Up for Chicago

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    The Chicago Bulls will host the red-hot Miami Heat at the United Center tonight following back-to-back wins over the Indiana Pacers and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    As everyone knows, the Heat are the hottest team in basketball. Having won 27 consecutive games, they do not show any signs of slowing down.

    In the previous meeting between these two teams, which took place on Feb. 21, Miami turned a close game into a rout and coasted to an easy 86-67 win over Chicago.

    Snapping the Heat’s winning streak will be a difficult task, but it is not impossible.

    Here are a few players who will need to step up for the Bulls to improve their chances of winning this game. 

Luol Deng

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    While Luol Deng is an above-average defender, the offensive part of his game had gone into hibernation during the earlier part of March.

    However, in the Bulls' last two outings, he has scored 20 and 17 points respectively. A big reason for his solid production is because he was looking for his shot.

    In the two games against Miami this season, Deng has averaged only six points per contest, while shooting an abysmal 24 percent from the field.

    Deng will be given the unenviable task of guarding LeBron James, and although this will take a lot of energy and effort, he must find a way to continue being aggressive on the offensive end. 

Nate Robinson

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    Nate Robinson provided the Bulls with a much-needed lift off the bench, scoring 22 points and handing out 10 assists in the team’s win over the Timberwolves.

    Despite his poor shot selection at times, Robinson is one of the most fearless players on the roster. When he plays within the offense, good things usually happen.

    If Robinson can give the Bulls a spark off the bench and run the offense efficiently, this game will be a close one right down to the wire.

Carlos Boozer

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    Carlos Boozer had a solid game in his last outing, with 19 points, 12 rebounds (five offensive) and four assists.

    Boozer is a beast when he plays in the post, so the Bulls need to make a concerted effort to get him the ball early and often.

    When Chicago runs the offense through the paint, its big men can punish the opponent down low—or, when being defended by multiple players, find an open teammate.

    With the possibility of Joakim Noah sitting out a third consecutive game, it is vital that Boozer makes an impact on both ends of the floor.