Heat vs. Bulls: Why Chicago Has No Chance at Ending Miami's Streak
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With LeBron James playing the best basketball of his storied career, Dwayne Wade returning for tonight's game and the rest of Miami's role players turning in outstanding performances one right after another, there is no reason to believe the Bulls have enough firepower to halt the streak.
Although the two teams have split their previous meetings this season, the second of those meetings is much more indicative of what Chicago will be up against this evening.
After topping the Heat 96-89 on Jan. 4, the Bulls fell flat on their face at home in the Feb. 21 rematch at the United Center. Miami had won eight straight entering that contest and extended that streak in convincing fashion.
Who wins tonight's showdown at the United Center?
James scored 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out seven assists in the 86-67 rout. Defensively, the Heat limited Chicago to 37.5 percent shooting.
Given the fact that James has shot 55.7 percent from the field this season (and a remarkable 65.5 percent in two games against the Bulls), do not expect to see anything less than another eye-popping stat line from the reigning MVP.
Sixteen-year veteran Ray Allen has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of James' uncanny passing abilities. The shooting guard has converted 15-of-26 three-pointers in Miami's last six games.
To make matters worse for the Bulls, they will be without starting shooting guard Richard Hamilton tonight. Reserve guard Marco Belinelli will be a game-time decision, which does not bode well for Chicago's plan to defend Wade or Allen.
Chris Andersen's impressive play recently is going to help Miami dispatch of the Bulls tonight, too. Andersen has shot better than 50 percent and scored at least six points in the Heat's last four wins.
Big men Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah will keep Chicago in the game early on, but hanging on to a lead has been a problem for several Heat opponents during Miami's streak.
The Heat trailed the Boston Celtics by 13 points in the fourth quarter, faced a 27-point deficit against the Cleveland Cavaliers and fell behind the Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Bobcats—all before rallying to victories.
Bulls fans will be out in full force tonight at the United Center hoping to witness a historic victory. Unfortunately, Chicago will watch the Heat improve to 28-0 since Feb. 1.
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