Eastern Conference Finals Game 2: Preview and Open Thread

Game One Stats:
Chicago:
Joakim Noah: 9 points, 14 rebounds (8 offensive), 2 steals, 2 blocks

Miami:
Chris Bosh: 30 points, 9 rebounds

Injuries:
Udonis Haslem: Out

Overview:
For the first time in these playoffs, Chicago showed up in game one. The Bulls pretty much need to do exactly what they did in game one, while Miami has to make all the adjustments.

Chicago didn’t shoot great, just 43.7 percent from the field, but they did shoot 47.6 percent from three (10-21). And they made up for that poor shooting in another aspect.

The Bulls absolutely dominated that glass, grabbing 45 rebounds to Miami’s 33. But it was really on the offensive glass that Chicago did their damage (a crazy 41.3 offensive rebound rate). The Bulls won that battle 19 to 6. Joakim Noah out-rebounded the Heat on the offensive glass by himself, with eight.

Chicago scored 31 second chance points. Miami had just 8. That’s a 23 point difference, when Chicago won by 21 points. There’s your difference.

And the Bulls needed those second chance points, because Miami shot pretty well. The Heat shot 47.1 percent from the field, and perfect from the line (15-15).

That foul shot number is low though. Through the playoffs, Wade is averaging 9.0 free throw attempts per game, while LeBron is getting there 8.7 times per contest. That’s more than 15 right there, and in game one they only had eight trips to the charity stripe between the two of them. Chicago needs to keep Wade and LeBron from driving, to keep them off the line, to keep their scoring down.

The Bulls did a really good job on LeBron and Wade, even when they switched off (Noah and Gibson specifically). But Deng, Bogans and Brewer also should get a lot of credit for harassing the Biggest Two, and making them work for everything. Miami isn’t deep like Chicago, so they rely on a fewer players to do more.

If Chicago can tire Wade, LeBron and Bosh, it will be huge. Wade and LeBron had been averaging 25 points each per game. Wade was 4-6 in the paint, but shot just 7-17 overall. From 10-23 feet he was just 1-6. LeBron shot 5-15, just 1-4 at the rim and 2-6 from 16-23 feet. Plus Wade got dunked on by Taj Gibson…did you see that? Seriously, did you?

The Miami Heat bright spot was Chris Bosh. He was 12 of 18 from the field, for 30 points and he also grabbed nine rebounds. But even with those scoring numbers, it wasn’t all good news for Bosh. He recorded a plus/minus of -15. Actually everyone on the Heat had a negative plus/minus, with Wade topping out at -22. And while every Miami player had a negative plus/minus, every single Chicago players posted a positive one.

Miami will surely make some changes, but the Bulls should still win if they put together something similar to game one. The Heat’s biggest issue will be securing the defensive rebounds. And if they send more guys at the glass, it could open up shooters on the outside.

The Bulls also turned to the Rose-Korver pick-and-roll late in the game. It was forcing Miami’s two poorer defenders to play a really tough pick-and-roll. Rose can drive or shoot, and Korver’s quick release has to keep them honest.

Miami isn’t going to just roll over though; they’re going to come out even harder.

“We’ve been able to bounce back this year no matter if it’s been the regular season or the postseason,” James said. “Learn from mistakes in the previous game and then move on. We’ve done that. We’re looking forward to the challenge, we’re excited about tomorrow’s opportunity to be here and try to steal homecourt.”

It will be hard for the Heat to make changes on the glass that will work, as Chicago also out-rebounded the Heat during the regular season by more than ten.

“It’s not about bigger bodies, it’s about wanting the ball,” Bosh said.

The Bulls wanted it more most of the regular season, and definitely wanted it more in game one. Will that stay the same tonight?

About the Author:
Braedan Ritter was born and raised in Pennsylvania but was swayed by gifts from his aunt to follow the Chicago sports teams. It didn’t hurt that the Bulls had a guy named Michael Jordan playing for them, and the Sixers had…Derrick Coleman. Braedan has stuck with Chicago through thick and thin, and really thin (see: Chicago Cubs). And speaking of Coleman, Braedan is currently a student at Syracuse University.

15 Responses to Eastern Conference Finals Game 2: Preview and Open Thread

  1. Adam@Adam.com'
    Adam May 18, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    I’m nervous. :X

  2. bleigh82@gmail.com'
    bleigh82 May 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Get it done Bulls! Take the 2-0 and grab command of this series.

  3. plb102@wiu.edu'
    Patrick May 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    I’m not all that worried about the rest of the series and will remain confident even if we lose tonight. After the first game there was a lot of critisism of Spo’ for sticking with the small lineup too long. What I haven’t really heard anyone mention is that outside of Bosh, Miami’s big guys are awful and countering with a bigger lineup tonight isn’t necessarily a better option. The rebounding advantage for the Bulls isn’t going anywhere no matter how the Heat tweak their lineup.

    With that said, and also b/c of the Bulls D and D Rose, they should at least be in every game this series. There’s no doubt that going forward Miami will be more competetive than they were on Sunday, but I don’t see them ever pulling away from the Bulls in a game and I don’t think they can count on winning 4 close ones, especially when we have seen that the Bulls do have the ability to pull away from the Heat when everything is going their way. Esentially to win the series, the Heat would need to win every close game and we all know about their struggles down the stretch.

  4. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath May 18, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Add me to the *nervous crowd.

    a) Please let Bogans hit his first two shots.

    b) Please let us box out on the DBoards.

    c) Please keep Deng out of foul trouble.

  5. gorditadog@aol.com'
    Gorditadogg May 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    The key to the game tonight will be keeping the Superfriends out of the lane. Let’s do it Bogans, Brewer and Luol Do-all Deng!

    Question- will we see minutes from Butler tonight?

  6. Inception May 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    every game becomes the biggest game for this young core…. definitely not expecting another CHI blowout or double digit win, but i’m liking our chances at home if it comes down to clutch plays.

  7. rmb727@comcast.net'
    Sports-Glory May 19, 2011 at 3:31 am #

    Series tied 1-1
    Make your shots!

  8. pc_eclipse@yahoo.com'
    Savage May 19, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    I know I’m gonna catch some flack for this but D Rose needs to play better period. I know the numbers weren’t bad other than the -12 when he was in but he was not aggressive enough. He needs to force the issue to get whoever is covering him in foul trouble. Not just step out when doubled go through or between. I know most would disagree but I was really disappointed in Rose tonight. When an MVP’s team hasn’t scored in near 5 minutes it is his responsibility to put the ball in the cup to ease the pressure. He did not do that tonight.

  9. pc_eclipse@yahoo.com'
    Savage May 19, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    Sorry I meant through or around the double.

  10. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life May 19, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    The calls by the ref’s were so bad also wade and labum argue and don’t get techs called whats with that the network sure has there hand in this series they see dollar signs what a shame this game has come to this.

  11. Ajit May 19, 2011 at 4:03 am #

    chitown4life:

    You’re an idiot.

  12. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath May 19, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    DRose could have played better.

    I saw a few pivotal plays where we played good initial D, but they ended up with the ball and scored (or got fouled).

    And, I didn’t feel Thibs had a good connection in this game.

    (yes, please give Butler a minute …)

  13. bodybagsteven@gmail.com'
    BFD May 19, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    eh, Rose and Booz and Kyle all had shots that they could have/should have made, roll around a out. Just a bad shooting night exasperated by poor FT shooting. A bit of a statistical anomaly. Just have to get back at it Sunday.

  14. matador May 19, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    Can someone let the bulls know that my uncle(a heat fan) has my d rose jersey in the freezer. I know he is gonna respond next game. The man and the team have bounced back all year. They have not lost three games in a row all season and should have won game two. With that being said if they go back to chicago down 3-1 they will have done something they havent in over 90 games. BULLS, stick to the game plan and quit trying to play to your competition, the team is complete and elite!

  15. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life May 19, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Ah # Apt get your heat loving a.. off this page your comment sums it up and to think your just like labum. A totally lost you loser keep your mind and your comments on heat bizz . No worries though I’m sure this may very well be the only game the heat wins so enjoy the moment , as bad as the Bulls shot and Drose played this will set the tone for the upcoming games you tune in and watch Apt terd. Go bulls

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