Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat: Game 2 Postgame Grades and Analysis
It was Miami's biggest win in the history of their franchise, and a good reason why was LeBron James, who started the game as a scorer and ended it setting up teammates with some of the most brilliant passes you'll ever see.
The other storyline from this game turns to the officials, where nine technical fouls and a pair of flagrant fouls were called. Both Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah were ejected.
Point Guards: Mario Chalmers and Nate Robinson
After struggling in Game 1 with getting any open shots, Chalmers took advantage of a few early looks by knocking down two of his first three attempts from downtown.
He finished with 11 points in only 18 minutes, taking a seat on the bench after unnecessarily grabbing Joakim Noah around the neck while fighting through a screen and picking up a technical foul.
Robinson began the game once again missing his first three shots, and from there he struggled. In 33 minutes Chicago's Game 1 savior went just 3-of-10 from the floor for 11 points.
Once again, for the second game in a row, Robinson struggled dealing with Miami's aggressive traps above the three-point line. He turned it over four times.
Shooting Guards: Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler
In his first three minutes of action, Wade picked up a technical foul for needlessly throwing a ball at Marco Belinelli, then hung himself on the rim. Was it the result of his ongoing knee troubles?
Wade scored nine points in his first 22 minutes of play, putting in some nice off-ball cuts and simple dunks in transition, but his jumper was atrocious, and Miami couldn't really use him as a ball-handler.
He finished with 15 points in 28 minutes.
After playing 48 minutes for three straight games, Jimmy Butler finally found himself on the bench to start the second quarter.
When he returned, LeBron James was waiting as his defensive assignment. Despite sitting five minutes in the first half, Butler led the team with nine points.
He didn't score in the second half.
Small Forwards: LeBron James and Marco Belinelli
He scored quickly on a drive through traffic at the rim. It was the type of basket any other player would have immense difficulty pulling off, but James does it habitually with his eyes closed.
Defensively he was literally everywhere, tipping and passes that either messed up or completely ruined a few of Chicago's offensive possessions.
He went 6-of-6 from the floor in the first quarter and had 19 points in the first half. He didn't score again, but was a passing wizard in the second half, finishing with nine assists and five rebounds.
For his first basket, he knocked in an awesome corner three after corralling a high pass from Joakim Noah. It came in the opening couple minutes but it was the only basket Belinelli would score in the first half.
He ended up with a team-high 13 points in a game-high 39 minutes.
Power Forwards: Udonis Haslem and Carlos Boozer
Haslem really shouldn't be playing. The Heat won big, but continued to get nothing out of their starting power forward, who played just 16 minutes and attempted a single shot (he made it).
Haslem also grabbed four rebounds, but did hardly anything of note on the defensive end. It's time Shane Battier starts.
Boozer struggled to get anything going on the offensive end, and that's a problem because the Bulls don't have many players like him who can get their own shot.
He scored just eight points and grabbed only four rebounds in 24 minutes. Not the best effort from Boozer, and the Bulls will need him to consistently knock down that mid-range jumper if they want to keep up with Miami's offense.
Centers: Chris Bosh and Joakim Noah
Bosh was awful early on, missing all three of his first quarter shots and getting brutalized by Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer on the glass.
He picked up his aggressiveness for the first time all series in the second quarter, finishing the half with five rebounds in 20 minutes. He also took a hard foul from Boozer, and drew a charge on Noah.
In the third quarter Bosh exploded, doubling his point total from the first half in a matter of minutes. He finished with 13 points on 10 shots.
He began the game sinking his first three field goals, including one that swished through the hoop on a pretty baseline jumper.
But he wasn't able to sustain it as the Heat got out and running soon enough, rendering Noah's ability to contribute in the half court useless.
He finished with 12 points before being ejected in the third quarter for arguing with referee Scott Foster.
Sixth Men: Shane Battier and Taj Gibson
Battier struggled for the second straight game, not connecting on his first three-pointer until the game was already decided.
But despite those struggles, Battier should be in the starting lineup, and will likely find himself there soon enough in Udonis Haslem's place.
He's still getting open looks, and soon enough they'll fall.
Gibson had a rough game, falling victim to a few poor calls in the third quarter that pushed him over the edge and into an ejection that could affect his status in Game 3.
Before that happened, Gibson registered eight points, three rebounds and one steal in 14 minutes.
Norris Cole is playing like a different player in these playoffs. He knocked down two gigantic threes that helped push Miami's lead into blowout territory, and finished with 18 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes.
He only missed two shots. Elsewhere, Chris Andersen threw his body around to the tune of seven points and two boards in 10 minutes. He also picked up a flagrant foul for hip checking Marco Belinelli into the sideline.
Ray Allen finished with 10 free-throw attempts and made them all, due to all the technical fouls Chicago was called for.
Given the game's status, Chicago was forced to turn to their bench (actually their third-stringers) for extended minutes in this game, but all their play occurred in garbage time.
Vladimir Radmanovic saw his most minutes in ages and he didn't even play that poorly, finishing with nine points in 10 minutes.