You could hear the chants in the United Center. The Chicago crowd, thoroughly enjoying the Bulls domination of the Miami Heat in the second half, began taunting the guys from South Beach, specifically LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. As the game entered the final minutes, Bulls fans didn’t shout D-Fense, or Let’s Go Bulls, no they were clear in their message, and it was Over-Rated!!! I can understand the crowd’s euphoria, but I’m also pretty sure that this was Game 1 and not Game 7, so the people in Chi-town might want to calm down a touch. Providing any extra spark for the most important Heat players, Wade and James, might not be the best idea with more games coming up shortly. That said, Miami is the team with a lot of issues to address.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals started off perfect for the Heat with two fastbreak dunks, one for Dwyane and one for LeBron. In fact, the team had 8 fast break points in the first quarter, but only wound up with 10 for the game. This game was tight all the way until about midway through the third quarter and then Chicago went on a 10-0 run. The Bulls closed the game on a 46-24 outburst. There is plenty to be concerned about for Eric Spoelstra and the coaching staff. They have got to find a way to prevent Chicago from getting so many second chance opportunities. The Bulls outscored the Heat by a margin of 23 in second chance points. Miami didn’t have a single offensive rebound in the second half. While I applaud Spoe for trying to have speed on the floor with a small lineup, he has to make an adjustment here. And if you are going to go small, in these instances, LeBron should not be bringing the ball up the court. If he is playing power forward, then he needs to be down low in a position to post up and rebound. It just seemed like whenever there was a scramble under the basket, it was three white jerseys and a random Heat player.
There is some good news for the Miami faithful. Chris Bosh showed up big with 30 points and 9 rebounds. If somebody would have said before the game that Bosh would score 30 on 12-18 shooting, I would have almost guaranteed a Heat victory. That is, until I found out that D3 and Bron would only combine for 33 points on 12-32 shooting. The other stat in this game that is not likely to be a trend is Chicago shooting 10-21 from 3pt range. If the Bulls shoot almost 50% from 3 during the entire series, it will be over in Game 5. Though if I’m a Bulls fan, I wouldn’t count on poor offensive production from Batman and Robin again, nor would I expect Chicago to shoot like Steve Kerr throughout the series.
Game 2 won’t be played until Wednesday night, which is probably good news for Miami. They need to make adjustments, the most important of which is the rebounding disparity. Derrick Rose is going to score, but the Heat can’t lose the second chance point battle by 23 and expect to be in the game. Also, and I hate that I was prophetic on this point; somebody needs to d-up on Luol Deng when he’s behind the 3pt line. If Miami can fix those two items, along with the dynamic duo playing at least a little more like themselves, they will win on Wednesday night. What will the crowd be chanting then?
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).