Eastern Conference Finals Game 2: Heat Win 85-75, Series Tied 1-1

Posted by By at 20 May, at 03 : 54 AM Print

Miami evened the series last night behind a defensive display that was even more impressive than the one Chicago put on in game 1. The Bulls were held to 34% shooting from the floor and 15% from 3-point land. Even though they weren’t being guarded, they only shot 62% from the free-throw line to top off a bad all-around shooting performance. How was Miami’s shooting? How about this stat for you. The Heat shot 32-68 (47%) from the floor on Sunday. They shot 32-68 again yesterday. No, that’s not a typo, they actually managed to somehow do that.

Before the game stories began to surface that LeBron James hasn’t been feeling well the last few days and that his energy level had suffered a bit because of it. After seeing his activity on defense and watching him go 12-21 from the floor on the way to 29 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals I’m not sure I’m completely buying it. And for all of the talk of him not hitting clutch shots, one wasn’t needed last night as he personally made sure the game was decided well before the clock hit 0:00.

Dwayne Wade had 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks in what was a quiet game by his standards. Chris Bosh came back to the pack a bit after dropping 30 on Sunday to only score 10. It was okay because the slack was picked up by Udonis Haslem, who came off the bench to score 13 points, grab 5 rebounds, dunk on MVP Derrick Rose, and dunk on Keith Bogans. Sounds like a pretty solid bench contribution to me. Mike Bibby had an off shooting night, going only 1-6, but was second to LeBronin assists with 4. No one else for Miami attempted more than two shots.

Honestly there wasn’t much that went right for Chicago. Derrick Rose looked much like the version we saw in the first round against the Pacers, when he forced shots and largely tried to do everything on his own. His 7-23 from the floor was the result of that. Keith Bogans was bottled up by Wade. Joakim Noah was his usual active self and his 9 points and 8 rebounds is about the norm for him. Luol Deng’s heave from 41 feet at the end of the first quarter was the highlight of his night and really the end of his impact on the game.

Carlos Boozer seemed to regress, going 3-10 for 7 points, and looked on for the majority of the second half as Taj Gibson got most of his minutes. After Gibson’s highlight reel first game, it seemed almost natural that this one wasn’t up to the same level, but you couldn’t honestly expect it to be could you? Kyle Korver’s shot escaped him as he only hit one of his seven attempts. Ronnie Brewer and Omer Asik made solid contributions in the hustle/effort categories, as usual, but not much in the way of an end product.

The series shifts to American Airlines Arena for game 3 on Sunday and Miami should be feeling pretty good after bouncing back from a disappointing game 1. LeBron will get a few days to rest. Haslem probably needs some rest too. The 23 minutes he played was the most for him since before Thanksgiving, November 19th to be exact. It also gives the city of Miami time to work themselves into a frenzy to support their first Eastern Conference Finals home game since 2006, the year of their only championship.

Chicago could use the days off to regroup. Their offense didn’t look sharp at all and the defense surely was not up to Tom Thibodeau’s standards. The Bulls beat the Heat in Miami during the regular season so they aren’t facing an impossible task, but a repeat performance of last night won’t get it done. Rose will need to play more within the offense, and not try to go it alone. Deng and Boozer will need better games in support of Rose to ease the offensive pressure on him. The bench, who draws from energy at the United Center, will need to find another source of motivation to play the usual productive minutes Thibodeau and Bulls fans expect from them.

Round 3 of this heavyweight bout, scheduled for 7 rounds, takes place on Sunday at 8:30 ET on TNT.

Uncategorized , ,

Related Posts

Post Your Comment