|Will to determine Heat/Bulls series|
|Tuesday, 24 May 2011 12:12|
After the Miami Heat was blown out by the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals, there was trepidation among Heat fans that the team could lose Game 2 which would make it more difficult to win the Eastern Championship title.
However, the team settled the fears, and answered its many critics when they countered the Bulls’ ferocious Game 1 offense with a stifling defensive game, limiting and frustrating the Bulls to win the game 85 - 75 at the United Center in Chicago. The series is now tied 1 - 1.
The victory was largely due to an energetic and inspirational performance from Heat captain Udonis Haslem in only his second game after recovering from a serious foot injury last November. After the Heat lost 103 - 82 last Sunday in Chicago, there were speculations that Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra would include Haslem in the rotation for a short spell in Game 2 to strengthen the defense. However, Haslem played for 23 minutes and did much better than expected on both defense and offense finishing with 13 points. He helped to limit the Bulls to only 10 points in the fourth quarter and locked down Derrick Rose who could only score 21 points in the game.
After being held to only 15 points in Game 1, the Heat’s LeBron James had 29 points in Game 2, scoring 9 points in the final 4 minutes of the game. Dwyane Wade had 24 points and Chris Bosh 10.
The Heat stepped up their game and addressed their shortcomings which led to their loss in Game 1. Besides playing better defense they rebounded and protected the ball better, scored more points in the paint, and had more fast-break points.
With Chicago having a defense that competes effectively with the Heat’s, this series will be an intense defensive battle. Going in to Game 3 on Sunday at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, one expects the Bulls to come charging back as they did after losing games to Indiana and Atlanta earlier in the playoffs.It is difficult to predict which team will most likely win the series. It could be Chicago finding the ferocious offensive game they played in Game 1, or Miami with the stifling defense played in Game 2. It is certain that the team with the most energy and drive will emerge as the Eastern Conference champions.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 14:13|