Why the Chicago Bulls Will Upset the Miami Heat
Miami Heat fans, you're welcome for the laugh that you're currently enjoying after reading the title of this article. Watch out, though. ... The Bulls have already proven that they can compete and rise to the occasion in the 2013 NBA playoffs. Coming off of a thrilling, but stressful seven-game contest against the Brooklyn Nets, the Bulls are a force to be reckoned with.
Here are five reasons why the Chicago Bulls will upset the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs.
The Bulls Can Beat the Heat...and Already Have
The Bulls have already proven that they can take the Heat as an underdog. On March 27, the Bulls snapped the Heat's 27-game win streak in a 101-97 victory in Chicago.
Raise your hand if you thought that would happen, Heat fans?
Didn't think so.
Even more impressive, the Bulls were without Joakim Noah in their win over the Heat. Marco Belinelli also did not play, though both were healthy and influential in the Bulls' Game 7 win over Brooklyn Saturday night.
Despite the fact that the victory came over a month ago, the game can serve as an enormous confidence booster to the already-streaking Bulls.
Miami Has Not Played Since April 28
When the Heat take the floor against the Bulls on Monday, it will be the first time in a week that the Heat have played a game. Though some may argue that the Heat are more rested, they may be a bit too rested.
The Bulls Have a Great Deal of Momentum
Perhaps nothing can boost a team's confidence as much as a Game 7 victory, especially while being sorely undermanned. The Bulls were without Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich in their Game 7 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, not to mention superstar Derrick Rose.
With only a day off before their clash against the Heat, the Bulls will be carrying much momentum and confidence into Miami.
The Bulls' X-Factor
In a ridiculous display, Nate Robinson (seriously?!) stepped up and took over late in the Bulls' Game 4 triple-overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets. Robinson scored 23 points in the fourth quarter of Game 4, only one point shy of Michael Jordan's playoff record of 24 points in one quarter.
Robinson also proved that he can handle pressure, sinking an awkward jump shot to send the game into a second overtime.
The Bulls have other options besides Robinson, too. Joakim Noah (despite being a regular starter) also proved that he can take over a game, recording 24 points, 14 assists and six blocks in the Bulls' Game 7 win over Brooklyn Saturday.
Coach Tom Thibodeau
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is proving (if he hasn't already) that he is one of the best coaches in the NBA. Thibs has kept together a team that has faced immeasurable adversity, from injuries to bad losses.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is less experienced in terms of coaching, winning, losing and adversity. Thibodeau has been forced to do "more with less."