If they drop Game 4 on Tuesday night and go down 3-1 in the series, Derrick Rose and company will be facing an almost insurmountable deficit.
Only eight teams in the history of the NBA have recovered from such a post-season disadvantage, and don’t expect LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh to squander an opportunity to reach the Finals.
All your favorite hyphenated sports clichés—must-win, do-or-die, make-or-break—are currently being thrown around, and they all ring true.
So what do the Bulls need to do to win the next game and even the series?
Defensively they’ve been pretty solid, holding Miami to 82, 85, and 96 points in the three games, and they’ve been doing damage on the boards, especially in the area of offensive rebounding.
On the other side of the ball, however, Chicago has struggled mightily. In their two losses, they have shot the ball horribly and scored well under their season average of 98.6 points.
For the Bulls to have a chance in Game 4 and this series, they need several guys to step up and get buckets. Here are the four players that need to start whistling a different tune if they don’t want the fat lady to sing.
Where has Kyle Korver gone?
After averaging 8.3 points on 43 percent field goal shooting in the regular season, the sharpshooter's aim has been off.
Korver is putting up only 6.8 points on 39 percent shooting in the playoffs, and he's been almost a non-factor against the Heat, scoring merely three points in each of the series' three games.
With Miami keying on Rose, the Bulls need Korver to stretch to defense and make the Heat pay. If he's not draining treys with regularity, Chicago's going to have a lot of trouble moving the scoreboard.
The spotlight is shining bright on the volatile Chicago center, and not for very good reasons.
Aside from the anti-gay slur Noah directed at a fan during Game 3, Joakim's on-court production—or lack thereof—has also been alarming.
He finished with one point and five rebounds in the loss and hasn't yet hit double figures in scoring this series.
Noah is not an offensive force by any means, but his production—11.7 point per game in the regular season—is an important aspect of the Bulls' flow.
The Heat players assigned to Noah have been the team's primary help defenders, so Noah needs to attack the basket with more ferocity and score the rock.
Bogans, Brewer, and Watson are role players who averaged a combined 15 points per game this year.
Their main responsibilities include playing defense, hustling, and moving the ball. While they're expected to hit an occasional shot or two, the Bulls have not relied on them for point production.
But desperate times call for desperate measures. To beat a Heat squad that is playing phenomenal team defense, Chicago needs scoring from unusual places.
Although it would be absurd to anticipate all three of these guys showing up offensively, either Bogans, Brewer, or Watson must have a relatively big night.
The league's MVP needs to start playing like a superstar if the Bulls are to have any shot of winning.
Rose has been inefficient and unspectacular in the back-to-back losses, especially during the decisive fourth quarters.
He has shot a combined 15-42 in Games Two and Three, swarmed by the cavalcade of defenders thrown at him by the Heat.
Yes, his teammates haven't been hitting open shots.
Yes, he's facing one of the top defenses in the league.
However, this is the time for a great player to become transcendent. Rose needs to step up and propel his team to victory.