There’s a popular saying, “I went to fight and a basketball game broke out.” Okay, okay wrong sport, but in playoff basketball slugfests can happen.
Before the night was over, 51 personal fouls, nine technical fouls (a playoff record), one flagrant foul and two ejections were imposed. The Bulls bore the brunt of the penalties with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson being ejected and escorted to the locker room early in the fourth quarter.
If the Bulls are going to bounce back from Wednesday’s lopsided 119-78 playoff loss they must do the following three things.
First, calm down in order to cool off the Heat. The Bulls are already shorthanded due to injuries and illness. They can’t afford to lose key players due to technical fouls, flagrant fouls or suspensions. They must find a way to play their style of physical basketball while keeping their emotions in check.
Next, be offensive without offending. The Bulls had only three players in double digits in Game 2 and they shot an abysmal 35 percent to the Heat’s 60 percent from the outside. The Bulls must be aggressive on offense, distribute the basketball, find the open man and make a respectable percentage of their shots.
Finally, control the boards. If it’s been said once it’s been said a thousand times, the team that controls the boards will win. The Bulls were out-rebounded 41-28 and lost in Game 2. (They out-rebounded the Heat 46-32 and won Game 1.)
Tonight, if the Bulls keep their composure (no ejections), get their offense going and gang rebound, then they most certainly will bounce back from ejection night and come out the victors at the United Center in Game 3
Hollie M. Woods is a writer for Rant Sports covering the Chicago Bulls and the NBA. “Like” her on Facebook.