James so excited about series he can't sleep

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 
 
Updated 5/15/2011 11:45 PM

Thanks to the modern marvel of social networking, LeBron James was able to share his insomnia with thousands Sunday morning.

James' account sent a Twitter message at 5:30 a.m. that read: "Can't sleep! Too excited right now. Breaking down film til I fall back to sleep."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Later in the morning, James still was awake during Miami's shootaround at the United Center.

"It took me about an hour-and-a-half to get back to sleep," he said. "I'm just excited. I'm a little sleepy now, but I'm excited about the opportunity tonight. It's going to be fun.

Asked why he couldn't sleep, James wasn't certain.

"I've just been excited about this opportunity that's placed in front of me, in front of this team, just trying to stay above the curve and watch as much film. If I'm up late at night, just try to stay in the book, stay in the film session."

Wade on return home:

Miami star Dwyane Wade grew up rooting for the Bulls in southwest suburban Robbins. He has played the Bulls twice in the first round of the playoffs, in 2006 and '07.

At Sunday's shootaround, he talked about going back to his hometown to begin the Eastern Conference finals.

"It's kind of surreal in a way to be back in my hometown playing in the Eastern Conference finals," he said. "I've never thought about it, but what better way for me to start off, to come out and really be focused and understand what this is really about."

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Wade also took a shot at reversing the idea that Miami is the favorite in this series.

"The Chicago Bulls showed they were the best team in the NBA this year no matter what anyone says," he said. "We want to be the best; we've got to beat the best. We've got to go through them, and they have home court for a reason."

Heat pulls it together:

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra offered these thoughts on how the Heat has changed since last playing the Bulls in the regular season.

"We went through a lot of struggles, most of them were with our half-court execution and feeling comfortable in building a game that could be successful in the playoffs," Spoelstra said. "It took every bit of the regular season -- all five months and every single game.

"In particular, the adversity, the failure and the frustration we had for us to take another jump. We still have a ways to go. We felt comfortable with our defense, particularly late in games, for quite a while. But it took awhile for guys to get on the same page offensively."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Butler did this before:

Bulls reserve Rasual Butler played in the Eastern Conference finals for the Miami Heat in 2005, his third NBA season. Butler averaged 5.4 points in 18 minutes as the Heat lost to Detroit.

"It was fun, because I was a fixture in the rotation," Butler said. "I was considered one of the core guys. These are the moments you grow up dreaming about in the neighborhood park playing basketball. To actually be playing in those games and playing meaningful minutes was definitely exciting."

Slowing the pace:

No matter how many points scored, this series will start slowly. The two coaches in this series will have to figure out how to fill up the five days off between Games 1 and 3.

"The thing this time of the year, sometimes you like playing every other day because you get in a rhythm of it," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "But rest is never bad at this time of the year."

Bull horns:

Coach Tom Thibodeau is the first rookie coach to reach the conference finals since Larry Bird in 1998. Bird's Pacers lost to the Bulls in seven games. The Bulls are 30-1 all time in playoff series when they have homecourt advantage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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