Bulls Feeling the Heat
If Bulls forward Carlos Boozer could go back in time and take back the comments he said before the series, I’m sure he would. When asked about stopping Miami, Boozer told reporters that the Heat have two great players, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. Chris Bosh used his matchup’s words as inspiration, dropping 34 points as he led Miami to a Game 3 victory. For the first time since February 7th and for the first time in the postseason, the top-seeded Bulls have lost back to back games.
With 2:00 left in the first quarter, fan-favorite Udonish Haslem checked in, uniting and igniting 20,000 white hot heat fans into a thunderous roar. Despite the help from the fans; the Heat relied on too many half-court offensive possessions that both forced low percentage shots as the shot clock ticked down and forced the Miami defense, led by Joel Anthony and his 4 blocks, to pick up the slack. The first period was one of steady defense of both ends of the court, with the Heat slightly ahead of the Bulls entering the second.The second period ended just like the first, with the heat up three after a very physical and high octane twelve minutes. It was great to see point-guard Mike Bibby finally start to hit from long range as his 6 points accounted for all but one of the Heat’s made three’s.I’m not quite sure if the frequent UFO advertisement for an upcoming TNT series had anything to do with it, but seemingly almost sci-fi, the third quarter ended yet again with the Heat leading by the same margin. The Heat quickly expanded their 3 point lead in the fourth, lead by a super-charged and emotion-driven Chris Bosh. His opponent Carlos Boozer recanted after the game saying, “I always have respect, I never didn’t have it.” Boozer’s words weren’t enough to slow down the Heat; neither were his 26 points and 17 rebounds.
The Bulls outrebounded Miami and also shot better from three,so it is safe to say that Bosh’s surging offense was enough to give Miami the series lead.It is such a good feeling that the Heat won so steadily without being able to connect from behind the arc, with only 10 points off fast breaks and with both Lebron and D-Wade scoring less than their season averages. Finally it looked as if coach Spoelstra’s Heat have grooved into a steady and effective rotation. Only eight players played in Game 3, compared to the twelve in Game 1. Zydrunas Ilgaskus dressed for the first time this series forcing Jamaal Magloire to the end of the bench. Chalmers, Miller, and Haslem each played a handful of minutes to enable the starters to play their hardest at home in Game 3. Look for the Bulls to try to exploit the Miami bench on Wednesday, while the Heat try find a way for each Big Three member to get his necessary touches while still relying on equal effort when the subsititues check in.