The NBA is getting down to the wire, and teams are positioning themselves for that last push. The Chicago Bulls are doing just that and showed once again why they can be a threat come playoffs time. This tough as nails Bulls team is tough to beat when everything is clicking on all cylinders. They showed their grit and determination once again to beat the Miami Heat in an overtime thriller, 95-88.
The Bulls’ physical play is why many teams fear them. They will claw, scratch and fight until the final buzzer. The Heat were up by 12 points in the fourth quarter and it looked like this game was headed in their direction. But just like the Bulls do most of the time, they kept the pressure on the Heat and chipped away at the lead. The Bulls clamped down on defense, got physical when the needed to, took over the game and forced overtime. Once the game was in overtime, the momentum had shifted, the United Center crowd went crazy and the Bulls prevailed with the victory.
The Heat’s offense had no answers for the Bulls’ defense in the last quarter and overtime. The Heat looked very confused and had the deer in headlights look. LeBron James was held to 17 points on just 8-for-23 shooting. He could not figure out how to attack the Bulls’ defense that kept switching different guys on him. Jimmy Butler did as good a job on James as you can possibly do.
The Bulls were led by once again by Joakim Noah, who had another dominant performance. Noah’s stat line was 20 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks. D.J. Augustin had another solid game with 22 points off the bench. The Bulls had 11 steals, outrebounded the Heat 47-42 and forced them to commit 17 turnovers.
This is the type of game teams really shy away from when it comes to the playoffs. Lots of teams don’t like the punishment the Bulls can inflict on them. The Bulls just had to let the Heat and everybody else know that it will not be easy to take them down.