Bulls vs. Heat: Analyzing Implications of Huge Opening Night Game
With 82 games in an NBA season, it's hard to believe that one game alone can have a major effect on an entire season, especially the first game. However, in cases like Tuesday's monstrous opening night showdown between the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls, it's not that hard to believe.
The Bulls and Heat will tip off their season in style as the Bulls welcome back their superstar Derrick Rose on a night where the Miami Heat will accept their NBA championship trophy, rings and banner.
While it's hard to put too much stake in the first game of the season, it will allow a few big opportunities for each Eastern Conference rival to start the 2013-14 season.
The Miami Heat need to win their opener for a number of reasons. One of the biggest and most obvious reasons is that it's in Miami and is the Heat's NBA championship party. Do the Heat really want to lose on the night that they get all of their NBA title hardware? I don't think so. Even more importantly, four out of the last five NBA champions started their ensuing seasons off with victories.
The Heat need to win, not only to make their celebration a good one, but to start things off on the right foot against a Bulls team that they could see again in the postseason.
The Bulls and the Heat faced off in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season, and that could easily happen again, especially with the return of Derrick Rose. Starting the regular season series off with an emphatic win over the Bulls would be a great way for Chicago to set the tone of the rivalry for this season.
NBA Power Rankings: 1) Heat 2) Clippers 3) Spurs 4) Bulls 5) Rockets See the rest » http://t.co/aZbpCM0zq1— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 28, 2013
But what about the Bulls? We certainly can't forget them.
Who Will Win the Season Opener?
The Bulls welcome back Rose back to their squad and while the Heat have a lot to play for in the opener, the Bulls have just as much, and maybe even more.
Chicago needs to win its opener for one of the same reasons as the Heat—to start the season rivalry off on the right foot. The Bulls split their regular season series with with the Heat last season at two wins apiece. That was followed by an extremely decisive 4-1 series win for the Heat in the NBA playoffs.
Maybe things go a little different in the playoffs this season if the Bulls can take the Heat down during the regular season. If the Bulls develop a game plan against the Heat for the regular season, it'll be beneficial in the postseason. They can start utilizing that game plan Tuesday night in Miami.
LeBron James says he admires Derrick Rose and will welcome him on the Heat's opening night matchup vs the Bulls. http://t.co/RdyF3LAQ3R— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 27, 2013
Another reason, and probably the most important one as to why the Bulls need to beat the Heat is the return of Rose, who will play in his first meaningful NBA game in 17 months after suffering an ACL injury in the first game of the 2012 playoffs.
The Bulls still had a solid 2012-13 season without their superstar before getting bounced out of the Eastern Conference semifinals. With their stud back, they can easily get back to the semis, and maybe even farther. The Bulls need to win Tuesday night in order to get things going in the right direction for Rose as they look to get back to business as usual in Chicago.
With 81 games to go, you normally can't put too much stake in the first night of play, but an opening night match-up between the Heat and the Bulls is anything but normal. Getting a victory over their Eastern Conference rival in the first game of the season could mean big things for both teams over the next 81 games.
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