For the first time all season, it appeared as if the Miami Heat were facing adversity coming after a Game 1 loss to the Chicago Bulls. That adversity was nowhere to be found in last night’s Game 2.
The Heat beat the brakes off the Bulls 115-78. Miami led by as many as 46 in the game. Yes, you read both of those sentences correctly.
Going into the series, everyone knew it would be physical, but the physicality got out of hand on Wednesday night. The two teams combined for nine technical fouls and two ejections. The Bulls received six technicals and both ejections (Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson). The Heat were able to keep their cool during the extracurricular activity, something the Bulls were unable to do.
The win was the biggest in Miami postseason history and the largest margin of defeat for the Bulls in their postseason history.
League MVP LeBron James finished the game with 19 points and 9 assists. All of his points came in the first half, including 12 in the first quarter on 6-6 shooting. James was one of six Miami players to reach double figures, led by Ray Allen’s 21. Norris Cole had 18 off the bench including 4-4 from down town. Dwyane Wade had 15, while Chris Bosh had 13 and Mario Chalmers finished with 11.
The Heat emphasized stopping Nate Robinson, the postseason hero for the Bulls who finished with just 11 points on 3-10 shooting.
The Heat shot 60% along with 50% (9-18) from the three-point line. The Bulls shot just 36%. Miami had the advantage in almost every category of the game in terms of statistics. They out-rebounded Chicago 41-29, had 28 points off turnovers opposed to 7 for the Bulls, and scored 20 fast break points compared to just 2 for Chi-town.
Game 3 is Friday in Chicago and the play should be physical once again. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said his team is still “in a hole.” The Heat may have lost home court advantage for the time being, but that isn’t exactly a bad thing. If the Heat can go into Chicago and take at least one game, they will regain home court advantage.
The key for Miami to win one or both of the games in the Windy City is to keep their cool much like they did in Game 2 (with the exception of the two technicals) and to control the tempo. LeBron dominated the game, from his explosive first quarter to his excellent passing in the third where he piled up five assists.