The Chicago Bulls are currently locked in a battle of Eastern Conference powers with the Miami Heat. Despite the Bulls winning 62 games to finish the regular season with the best record in the NBA, Chicago came into the series as an underdog to the heavily favored Miami team.
However, after a convincing win on Sunday, it seems the Bulls are beginning to receive the credit that they deserve.
Yes, this was only one game. But it has set the tone for a series that will likely be enjoyable for Chicago Bull fans.
Everyone knows that the Chicago Bulls are an extremely confident team as it is. Giving them more confidence makes them an even bigger threat to their opponent.
After the impressive performance the Bulls put on in Game 1, Chicago has to be feeling pretty good about itself.
The Miami Heat? Not so much.
If the Bulls come with a ton of energy and play with an edge in Game 2, it will be another long night for the Heatles.
The total team effort Chicago displayed had to make Miami Heat fans envious. Just as everyone thought the Bulls would finally be exposed for the one-man team that they were accused of being, they completely thrashed the Heat with good ball movement and great execution.
And if anyone was exposed, it was Miami.
The Heat proved that if they play a great defensive team like Chicago, they transform into an isolation team that plays too much one-on-one ball. This was clearly evident as the ball constantly died when it was passed to Wade or LeBron.
Transition offense is Miami’s best bet, but if the Heat can’t force turnovers frequently, they are going to have a tough time beating the Bulls.
Thibodeau was the evil mastermind responsible for all the defensive schemes that bothered James so much in recent years. Sure, Boston was still a top-notch defensive team, but they just weren’t the same without Thibodeau on the sidelines.
Another problem LeBron is faced with is Luol Deng. Not only did Deng hold James to 15 points, but he outscored him as well by chipping in 21.
The Big Three will probably have to combine for 80 points a night to have a shot at making this a series.
The "Bench Mob" is arguably the best bench remaining in the postseason. They clearly made that known with their performance in Game 1.
While Miami's bench isn't a complete disaster, they are not on the same level as Chicago's bench.
As long as Taj Gibson and Omer Asik continue to clean the glass and get the ball to C.J. Watson to set the offense, the Heat bench will be a complete non-factor.
Thus leading to another advantage for the Bulls.
The Bulls have one weapon that the Miami Heat will not be able to stop. That weapon is Derrick Rose.
Try as they may, the Heat will fail to contain Derrick by forcing the ball out of his hands. Rose has proven time and time again that if he can’t beat you with his scoring, he’ll beat you with his passing.
Miami will do as it said and throw a lot of bodies at him. The Heat will bring double-teams, they’ll foul him hard at the rim, but they won’t stop him from penetrating. No one has and no one will.
In the end, Derrick Rose will be the key to the Chicago Bulls defeating the Miami Heat and winning a trip to the NBA Finals.