The Chicago Bulls have beaten the Miami Heat twice this season by using a physical brand of basketball to intimidate Miami. But after adjusting the the hard fouls and Bulls trash talking, the Heat have solved Chicago’s strategy and are poised to wrap up the series.
While hard fouls may rattle some teams, the Heat are as prepared for the style of play as any team in the NBA, LeBron James especially. The 6’8″, 250-lb superstar takes physical abuse on a nightly basis, as does Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Despite the hits, the Heat just keep winning.
Chicago picked up 30 fouls in game three, including two technicals (Joakim Noah and Nazr Mohammad), with Mohammad’s leading to an ejection. With the Bulls already being shorthanded due to multiple injuries, the last thing they need is a player getting himself kicked out of the game in the first half.
This series will eventually play out just as many of the Heat’s games did during the season; Chicago will play well enough to keep the game close before Miami turns it on in the furth quarter and wins by double digits, just as they did in games two and three. Realistically, part of the reason the Bulls were able to win game one is due to the Heat being off for almost two weeks after sweeping the Milwaukee Bucks on the first round.
The Bulls deserve much credit for the heart they have shown this season and in the playoffs so far, but while playing with heart may be admirable, it won’t win many games against a powerhouse like Miami. Chicago has had an excellent season, and they should end it by going out gracefully, instead of tarnishing it with excessive and unnecessary fouls just to get under Miami’s skin.