Chicago Bulls Face the Heat in Miami: What's Going to Happen?

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIMay 21, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 18:  Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls argues with referee Jason Phillips #23 against the Miami Heat in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 18, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The way the Chicago Bulls demolished the Miami Heat in Game 1 of this series turned Bulls' fans from 'nervous nellies' to expecting the team to dismiss the Heat with nary a worry.

It's funny how one game changes everything.

There is already talk about who the Bulls can get next year, whether it's Ray Allen at shooting guard, or maybe prying Dwight Howard away from Orlando, as if this season is over.

One bad game does not a series make, so don't sweat it Bulls fans, unless you trekked down to South Beach and forgot the suntan lotion while taking in the sights strolling down Ocean Drive.

Let me help you face your fears while giving you reasons why it is not necessary at this time.  

I'm not going to give you every stat known to man, and some that aren't.

I'm not going to bore you with a long overwrought article that takes so much time to read you have five-o'clock-shadow by the time you finish it.

What I am going to do is get you off the ledge, and tell you not to worry about what's about to go down in Miami.

The Bulls haven't lost back-to-back games since February, and haven't lost three in a row all year, and it's not about to happen now.

This one is coming back to Chicago tied 2-2.

I'm actually almost more confident because of the game the Bulls lost in this series than the game they won.

They were lights-out from the three-point stripe in Game 1, and outscored the Heat 31-8 in second-chance points. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had less than stellar performances; something not likely to be repeated.  

In Game 2, they played a terrible game, yet with 4:30 left on the clock, they were tied 73-all.

For those who need stats to understand what happened, the Bulls shot 34.1 percent for the game, which was a season low. They were 3-for-20 from the three-point line, which tied their playoff low at 15 percent, along with missing 10 free-throws in 26 chances.

And to top it off, they scored only 10 points in the fourth quarter. That was the fewest points scored in a quarter in team playoff history.

Miami also out-rebounded them in the game, while Wade and LeBron were back to being Wade and LeBron.

The Heat also got a huge lift off the bench from Udonis Haslem, scoring 13 points and gathering five rebounds while playing his first extended minutes since coming back from a foot injury.

For the Bulls, Derrick Rose played his worst game of the playoffs, and still Miami couldn't put the Bulls away until the final few minutes.

If that's not reason for optimism, I don't know what is. 

Rose seemed reluctant to go to the basket hard, and didn't finish at the rim on Wednesday. 

Kyle Korver needs to be squared up waiting for the ball at the three-point line instead of coming off of curls and running around like a whirling-dirvish trying to get open for shots.

The Bulls have to get back to commanding the boards, and their secondary scorers have to help out Rose.

They're not going to stop Wade and LeBron, but they can control them. Bosh already had the best game he's going to have in Game 1. And this time they will be ready for Haslem, who even surprised his own coach with his performance.

The defense is always going to be there, and that will keep the Bulls in games even when they play as poorly as they did the other day.

They need to take advantage of their opportunities and make the Heat beat them instead of giving the game away. Miami has been winning some close games of late, but nothing has really come down to them having to make a shot near the end of the game, and that has been their Achilles heal all season.

So get over the gloom and doom, enjoy the next two contests, and hope the Bulls can win Game 5, which more often than not determines the winner of the series.

I picked the Heat in six, and after watching the first two games, I'm feeling like I didn't give the Bulls enough credit.

In the nineties, they used to call playing the Arkansas Razorbacks coached by Nolan Richardson forty minutes of hell.

After hearing Wade mention he's thankful for the amount of time off between Game 2 and Game 3, and commenting on how hard the Bulls play and how physical they are, I thought there should be a term to describe the Bulls style of play.

In honor of Miami and the heat, how about 48 minutes of "schvitzing?"

For those who don't know, "schvitzing" is Yiddish for sweating, and that's what the Heat will be doing the rest of this series.