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Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat: Postgame Grades and Analysis

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2013

Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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    It looked like the Miami Heat were as excited as anyone for the return of the Chicago BullsDerrick Rose—just for different reasons.

    Miami defeated Chicago by a final score of 107-95.

    Several players made a statement against the Bulls—the team which was just predicted to win the 2014 NBA Finals by ESPN's Bill Simmons in his season preview with Jalen Rose—in this win.

    After a slow start in South Beach, the Heat took over about halfway through the first quarter and never relinquished control of the game after that.

    For the Bulls, a lot of the preseason hype is sure to die down after this performance. The offense looked dreadful, though Miami does deserve some credit for that. Derrick Rose looked extremely rusty after a couple nice finishes early. And the notoriously stingy defense, well, wasn't stingy.

    As lopsided as the game was, Chicago did make a fourth-quarter run, and there were still good and bad individual performances on both sides.

Point Guards

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    Derrick Rose, Bulls

    Twitter was ablaze with Derrick Rose mentions early in this game after he had a couple flashy drives in the first quarter.

    But that was quickly extinguished as Rose showed a lot of rust over the rest of the contest.

    The biggest issue was taking care of the ball, and I'm not talking exclusively about the five turnovers he committed. Rose wasted some possessions by taking bad threes early in the shot clock. I know he's supposed to have improved from out there, but he'll always be most effective attacking the rim.

    Chicago's superstar point guard also struggled defensively. He had a hard time staying in front of opposing 1s—something that was highlighted by a Norris Cole crossover that dropped Rose to the floor.

    The struggles shouldn't come as too big of a surprise. Rose hasn't played a regular-season game for a year-and-a-half. It's going to take some time to get the rhythm back.

    For tonight, he finished with 12 points and four assists on 4-of-15 shooting.

    Overall Grade: D

     

    Mario Chalmers, Heat

    Mario Chalmers has made a habit of being quietly effective for the Miami Heat during the Big Three era. In the season opener against the Bulls, Chalmers finished with 13 points, five steals and four assists.

    His first-possession steal against Rose quickly set the defensive tone for the Heat and proved to be a sign of things to come throughout the game.

    When Chalmers plays like this, the weeping and wailing over Miami's issues at the 1 seem a bit overstated. 

    Overall Grade: B

Shooting Guards

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    Jimmy Butler, Bulls

    Had Jimmy Butler managed to stay out of foul trouble early in this game, Miami might not have run away quite as easily. When he was on the floor, Butler was one of the only Bulls who didn't look overwhelmed.

    He finished the game with 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting.

    But more important than the shots he made was the energy he brought on both ends of the floor. Butler swiped five steals, which led to some easy buckets in transition.

    He'll need to figure out how to be effective without fouling. It's clear that Chicago needs him on the floor, especially against a team like Miami.

    Overall Grade: B+

     

    Dwyane Wade, Heat

    As evidenced by his 5-of-13 shooting, Dwyane Wade really struggled in this one. Fortunately, Miami no longer needs a big game from him every night. Several other players stepped up and provided in Wade's stead. He finished with just 13 points.

    He may have played 36 minutes, but Wade was very quiet while he was on the floor. At times it was easy to forget he was even out there.

    Overall Grade: C

Small Forwards

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    Luol Deng, Bulls

    One of Chicago's biggest problems in this game was foul trouble. The Bulls not only lost Butler early, but Luol Deng as well.

    Those two are Chicago's best perimeter defenders. Without them, Miami went on a huge first-half run.

    That extra time on the bench may have contributed to a rough offensive outing for Deng, who finished with just four points on 2-of-8 shooting. 

    Overall Grade: D

     

    LeBron James, Heat

    Much like Wade, LeBron James struggled against the Bulls, but still managed to post just 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

    But again, he didn't really need to dominate. This is why Miami is so scary this season. LeBron and Wade can shoot a combined 10-of-24 from the field and still comfortably beat a team as good as the Bulls.

    Of course, part of that was due to all the little things LeBron does as well. He finished the game with eight assists and six rebounds.

    Overall Grade: C

Power Forwards

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    Carlos Boozer, Bulls

    The most positive sign for the Bulls in this game was the dominance of Carlos Boozer inside. While most of his teammates struggled for the first three quarters, Boozer kept things from getting laughable by scoring 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting.

    He showed some very smooth moves around the rim—a spin move off Chris Andersen looked particularly impressive—and attacked his defenders aggressively throughout the evening.

    He was also decent on the other end, allowing very little from Udonis Haslem. 

    Overall Grade: A

     

    Udonis Haslem, Heat

    Unless Udonis Haslem has one of those games in which he hits five baseline catch-and-shoot jumpers, he's pretty easy to forget about.

    Such was the case against the Bulls in this one. In 21 minutes, Haslem took just four shots and scored six points.

    Overall Grade: C

Centers

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    Joakim Noah, Bulls

    We heard Joakim Noah was healthy before this game tipped off, but he didn't really look it. He played just 20 minutes and didn't provide the kind of energy we're used to seeing from Noah.

    As further evidence that his groin may still be sore, Noah missed two dunks in the first half—a shot that 6'11" All-Stars typically convert. Those missed bunnies contributed to Noah's 1-of-4 shooting display as he finished with just two points.

    The one area in which he was solid was rebounding. He grabbed 11 boards.

    Overall Grade: D+

     

    Chris Bosh, Heat

    Chris Bosh might be the best third wheel in the league. While LeBron and Wade struggled mightily, Bosh quietly scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

    His mid-range jumper looked as smooth as ever, and his help defense was solid as well. He finished with three blocks.

    Overall Grade: B+

Sixth Men

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    Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Bulls

    Mike Dunleavy may have been the first Bull off the bench against Miami, but he played fewer minutes than both Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich.

    It makes sense, because he was dreadful for the majority of the game. After starting 0-of-5, Dunleavy hit a couple shots in the fourth quarter to finish 3-of-9 for 10 points.

    He held his own defensively, though—as he slowed down LeBron and Wade in a couple isolation plays against each.

    Overall Grade: D-

     

    Ray Allen, SG, Heat

    Ray Allen looks like he can do this until he's 50. He knows exactly how to lose his man along the three-point line and always punishes opponents on those catch-and-shoot opportunities.

    In this one, he finished with 11 points while shooting 3-of-6 from three-point range.

    This is Allen's role in Miami, and he did it well against Chicago.

    Overall Grade: B

Benches

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    Chicago Bulls Bench

    On a night when Chicago's starters struggled and both Butler and Deng found themselves in foul trouble early, the Bulls bench did little to back them up.

    The unit as a whole went 9-of-26 from the field. The only player who didn't look completely outmatched was Taj Gibson, who finished with 10 points and eight rebounds while hitting 4-of-8 shots.

    Overall Grade: D

     

    Miami Heat Bench

    Led by Shane Battier's 14 points and 4-of-4 shooting from three-point range, Miami's bench was dominant against the Bulls. It effectively picked up the load as LeBron and Wade had a hard time offensively.

    The unit shot a combined 16-of-25 from the field.

    With 11 points, Norris Cole was the third reserve to reach double figures along with Battier and Allen. Chris Andersen chipped in with eight rebounds. 

    Overall Grade: A+

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