The Heat, after rolling the Milwaukee Bucks in four straight, arrived in the second round healthy, resting and confident.
The Bulls, after surviving the Brooklyn Nets in the full seven, arrived in tatters.
Yet Chicago's Game 1 win put the Heat on their heels, and they responded with a rout, winning by the largest margin in their postseason history, while handing the Bulls their worst-ever playoff loss, 115-78.
That Game 2 also featured nine technicals, two ejections and several confrontations.
"We flat out sucked," Bulls guard Nate Robinson said.
Still, as LeBron James noted, "It's just one game."
In fact, as Heat coach Erik Spoelstra elaborated:
"For Chicago, it's almost a perfect loss. You get beat by a number like that and have guys ejected, you can come back with a clean slate the next game with a chip on your shoulder."
The Bulls also come back home, where the United Center will surely rock, with more than 20,000 urging on the decided underdogs.
So what can alter the state of the series?
(All quotes for this piece were collected through the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post.)