The Miami Heat edged out the Chicago Bulls to even up their third-round playoff series at one game apiece, and if one thing is predominantly true, it’s that the Bulls practically gave the game away in extremely small and marginal amounts that stretched the entire game.
So what happened to the Bulls?
Their stellar point guard (who is more of a shooting guard) had another poor shooting game, and it’s too bad that the Bulls could not take advantage of Miami Thrice, because they looked visibly tired.
A secondary cause for the Bulls loss was the disappearance of Carlos Boozer—something that shouldn’t be surprising considering the number of times he’s done it to Deron Williams while in Utah. But Boozer’s lackluster effort was canceled out by counterpart power forward, Chris Bosh.
The seemingly exhausted Heat superstar duo had good games—James scored 29 points (12-of-21), and added 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Wade scored 24 points on 8-of-16 with nine rebounds.
The rest of the Heat’s offensive output was mediocre including Chris Bosh’s (10 points), and with the exception of Udonis Haslem (13 points)—a nice spark off the bench.
Haslem is showing that he can contribute during the playoffs after months recovering from injury, and he just might be the difference-maker for the Miami Heat by series end.
The strong defensive dynamic of both teams was in play and in full view in this low-scoring game as each side were brutally frugal in giving up points.
In light of today’s game, however, two things are becoming clear about Derrick Rose: First and foremost, the question of Rose shooting too much during the playoffs was again underlined. Secondly, Rose is also looking fatigued, and it’s no surprise since he is often the entire offense of the Bulls.
Rose’s 23 points, six rebounds and eight assists was completely negated by another dreadful shooting performance in the playoffs (7-of-23).
In 12 playoff games thus far, Rose has shot under 40 percent five times, including 30 percent or less three times.
As the point guard, Rose should be opening up his teammates to more offensive opportunities instead of trying to ram through a brick wall with his ineffective shooting—especially when he realizes that his shooting game is under water.
So why should Rose and company have won the second game?
Despite a reasonably good offensive effort from the Miami Heat, the Bulls were utterly outclassed in shooting, almost as if they had blindfolds on. Lakers fans will tell you that anytime you go 28-of-82 from the field (34 percent), including a dreadful 3-of-20 from the arch—you’re going to lose the game.
In close games like this, it’s up to the point guard to provide the added spark by reinvigorating his teammates. Rose’s ability or inability to do this will dictate how the Bulls perform for the balance of the playoffs.
It wasn’t until near the end of the fourth quarter that James’ surge made a 10-point difference in the final score, but the Bulls were right in the thick of the battle for most of the game—a surprising fact considering their horrible shooting was far, far worse than that of Miami’s.
If fans still think James can’t close out games while wearing a Heat uniform, this game proves them wrong.
And if fans are wondering whether Rose shoots too much, even when he’s colder than a penguin in the middle of a winter storm, this game underlines that fact—again.
The Bulls played a less-than-average Game 2 and barely lost to a Miami Heat team that played better than average. Rose remains the key for the Bulls, but it would help a ton if Boozer shows up too.