The Bulls get their second shot at the Heat in as many weeks this afternoon in *another* primetime Nationally Televised game everyone will complain about.
Where the previous three matchups went wildly in favor of one team, it is interesting to note that the home team has won all three games in the season series thus far, and today’s game is in Chicago. Unlike last meeting, which saw the Heat ramp up their defensive intensity, LeBron James will play. Both teams are as healthy as they are likely to get all season, both teams are playing well, and both teams are *not* equal. A victory today would be a serious statement. A loss today, despite what you may think, would be just as big. If the Bulls can’t beat the Heat at home in the regular season, how, pray tell, can they do it in the postseason? Despite what you might have heard the last time you watched the Bulls play on national TV, effort does not determine success. Not against the Charlotte Bobcats, and not against the greatest player alive.
Probable Starting Lineups
Chicago Bulls (34-28, 2nd in Central, 4th in East)
C: Joakim Noah- 7th season. 12.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists.
PF: Carlos Boozer- 11th season. 14.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists.
SF: Mike Dunleavy- 11th season. 11.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists.
SG: Jimmy Butler- 3rd season. 12.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists.
PG: Kirk Hinrich- 11th season. 8.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists.
Miami Heat (43-16, 1st in Southeast, 2nd in East)
C: Chris Bosh- 11th season. 16.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists.
PF: Shane Battier- 13th season. 4.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists.
SF: LeBron James- 11th season. 27.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists.
SG: Dwyane Wade- 11th season. 19.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists.
PG: Mario Chalmers- 6th season. 9.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists.
Key Matchup(s): Joakim Noah vs Chris Bosh.
Noah’s on fire as of late. Bosh has always been a barometer of success for this Heat team against Thibodeau’s pressure D. They’ll likely guard one another, and if Noah can do his Noah thing, he’ll likely neutralize the entirety of the Heat’s meager post game in one strike.