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updated: 5/7/2013 8:47 PM

Heat's Power Trio has twice dropped playoff series opener

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  • Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, who played all 48 minutes of of the Eastern Conference semifinal series opener Monday against the Heat, relaxes while speaking to the media.

    Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, who played all 48 minutes of of the Eastern Conference semifinal series opener Monday against the Heat, relaxes while speaking to the media.
    Associated Press

  • The Bulls' Joakim Noah talks to the media Tuesday.

    The Bulls' Joakim Noah talks to the media Tuesday.
    Associated Press


MIAMI -- At the end of a media session on the Heat's practice court, Chris Bosh was asked a question about Joakim Noah's trademark energy.

"I don't know," Bosh answered. "I'm tired of talking about Joakim."

A few minutes earlier, teammate Dwyane Wade helped explain Bosh's sour attitude a day after the Heat lost to the Bulls 93-86 in the opener of this second-round playoff series.

"Every time you lose in the playoffs, it feels like it's the worst thing. You feel terrible," Wade said. "Your food doesn't taste good. You feel awful. Then you come in, you learn from it and there's another game. You go out there and try to get a win."

Wade also reminded everyone of the Heat's playoff history. Twice in the Power Trio era, Miami lost the opening game of a series and both times bounced back to win the next four. It happened against the Bulls in the 2011 conference finals and against Oklahoma City in last year's NBA Finals.

Both times, the Heat dropped a game on the road and was able to build some momentum when the series shifted to Miami. This time, the Bulls will head home for Friday's Game 3 with no worse than a 1-1 tie in the series.

"We've been behind the eight ball plenty of times," Wade added. "In the Indiana series (last year), we lost one at home, were down 2-1. We were down three games to two in the Boston series. So there's times when you're going to be down. You just have to come back, understand what you did wrong and fix it and I think we were able to do that."

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra complained about the Bulls scoring 35 points in the fourth quarter. Play better defense and the 7-point lead midway through the fourth should hold up.

"It ain't about Xs and Os in this series," LeBron James said. "It's about the will and determination to win the series. For the most part, we played some good basketball. We defended. We executed our offense. We didn't shoot the ball like we know we're capable of doing. But we still had a chance to win the game."

James scored 2 points in the first half of Game 1, then rang up 22 in the second half. He scoffed when asked if he planned to come out more aggressive at the start when the series resumes Wednesday.

"I'm going to play my game," James said. "I don't come out with a mindset of I'm going to be aggressive. I'm just going to play my game and see what happens."

The Heat's two biggest stars talked about the Bulls' Jimmy Butler, who played all 48 minutes, guarded both James and Wade, while producing 21 points and 14 rebounds. Like Wade, Butler played in college at Marquette.

"You know the guy's in shape," Wade said. "Obviously, they have something special. That's why Marquette chose him."

"I think Jimmy's a good, solid defender," James added. "I think it's the system that's built around him and the guys around him that makes you a really good defender.

"That goes (back) to my series with Boston with Tony Allen. He had Kevin Garnett and those guys behind him giving a lot of communication. Same with Tayshaun Prince in my early years with Detroit, he had Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace.

"Now Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler have Joakim Noah and those guys behind them. You can be the greatest individual defender, but if you don't have a line behind you and a system behind you, then you can be exploited."

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