Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat Could Square Off Sooner Than Anticipated

By Ryan Heckman
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

In case you have been locked in a closet for the past 24 hours, the Miami Heat‘s 27-game win streak was snapped Wednesday night by a very short-handed Chicago Bulls team.

Interestingly enough, if the season ended today and the playoff seeds were set in stone, Miami and Chicago could end up seeing each other much sooner than the Eastern Conference Finals. In fact, they would get an opportunity to push each other around in just the second round of the playoffs.

Whether or not that’d be ideal for fans and the league, many of us are excited to see more of what we saw two days ago — the sooner the better, in other words.

Who doesn’t want to see a rematch between these two teams in a seven-game series? Miami may end up the victor, but the Bulls will make sure they absorb every ounce of energy out the them before it’s over. If we’ve learned anything about this team, it’s that Tom Thibodeau will not settle for anything but maximum effort on every single play and from every single player he puts out on that floor.

That’s one huge difference I have seen between the two teams. The Heat rely so much on their talented superstars and veteran-laden bench and when matched up against a physical and gritty team like the Bulls, they can fall victim to being out-played and out-coached.

Thibodeau knows he has guys that won’t back down from anybody. Even though he may not have a full squad each night, he knows he can depend on Luol Deng to play all 48 minutes if needed. He knows he’ll get an energized, athletic, and ball hawking problem in the paint off the bench in Taj Gibson. He knows that when at his best, Carlos Boozer can give him a double-double night in and night out.

Even though the Bulls aren’t flashy and full of star players, they present many challenges to the Heat — challenges that the Heat don’t particularly like dealing with. Miami has pushed around much of its competition this year, but they can’t seem to consistently do the same to this injury-ridden Bulls team.

If all goes according to plan, fans will get the pleasure of witnessing these teams face off for seven grueling games much sooner than we would have expected at the beginning of the season.

Ryan Heckman is a Minnesota Timberwolves writer and NBA contributor for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google

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