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If there's any team that can handle being behind in a playoff series, it's these Miami Heat. They fell behind in each of their last three playoff series in 2012 and were down 0-1 to the Bulls in the 2011 Eastern Conference finals.
Last I checked, things turned out fine for Miami in each of those series. And, if their 115-78 demolition job of the Bulls in Game 2 is any indication, the Heat have little about which to fret this time around.
LeBron James (24 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block) was the only member of the Heat who remembered to show up for Game 1, though even he had his issues. He managed just two points on 1-of-6 shooting in the first half of that contest, amidst the overarching malaise that came back to consume Miami down the stretch.
James made sure to start strong in Game 2. He scored all 19 of his points in the first half, and devoted most of his time and energy in the second half to playing stout defense and getting his teammates involved on the other end.
And to great effect, I might add. Five other Heat players wound up scoring in double figures, including 18 from Norris Cole (on 4-of-4 from three) and a team-high 21 from Ray Allen, who shot a perfect 10-of-10 at the stripe.
Blowouts will be tough to come by at the United Center, where the Heat's 27-game winning streak met its maker during the team's last visit. On the bright side, Miami may well have recaptured the ball-sharing, sweet-shooting groove that had gone missing in Game 1 after a lengthy layoff.
Which is bad news for the Bulls, whose toughness and opportunism may be no match for the Heat's superior talent and experience.
Current Grade: A
Last Week's Grade: A