If that's best Miami has, Bulls in good shape

Updated 5/20/2011 2:31 AM

The Bulls had orchestrated such a happy tune before Game 2 that following an ugly fourth quarter the only instruments fans want today are of the sharp variety.

And so drastic a measure is unnecessary.


It was another very winnable game and had LeBron James not made that 3-pointer with 4:28 left and the game tied, the Bulls probably would have found a way to win again despite an awful shooting night.

The Bulls went 34 percent from the field (28 of 82), 15 percent from the arc (3 of 20), 61 percent from the line (16 of 26) and Miami had the edge in rebounding (45-41).

And yet the game was tied with 4:28 remaining?

That's about as good as the Heat can play and the Bulls were about as bad as they've been the last couple months, and yet the Heat needed LBJ to save them in the fourth quarter.

See where we're going here?

The Bulls didn't count on Miami getting a Taj Gibson-like performance from Udonis Haslem, who came back from an injured foot to give the Heat 13 points in 23 minutes with 5 boards (3 offensive), 2 assists, a steal and a block.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Unfortunately for the Heat, it's more likely that Haslem gives them less production and fewer quality minutes as the series drags on. If he could do for 46 minutes every game what he did for 23 in Game 2, the Bulls would be in trouble.

But as it stands, the Bulls will be fine. They're still the younger, deeper and more athletic team.

Miami made some adjustments to clean up on the boards so that the Bulls couldn't destroy them in second-chance points again, and now Tom Thibodeau will make an adjustment as well and the Bulls probably won't score 4 points in the final 8:44 as they did in Game 2.

In two games, the Bulls have been outplayed and outshot in the first half, but in Game 1 they were tied at the half and in Game 2 the Bulls trailed by only a deuce despite shooting just 38 percent to Miami's 52.

With 3:26 left in the first quarter of Game 2, the Bulls were 5 of 19 (26 percent) and the score was tied at 15-15.

Derrick Rose was 7 of 20 (35 percent) when the game was tied at 73-73.


The more you look at it the more it feels like Miami gave the Bulls their best and still could have lost both games, and the Bulls are tied in the series while having played 2 good quarters.

Miami has two of the best players of all time, and if James and Dwyane Wade had any help -- and they'll get some next season -- they might win multiple championships, as they predicted last summer.

But it's hard to see them having enough size, depth and rebounding to win a long series against the Bulls unless they can play much better than they have the first two games.

I picked the Bulls in seven and so far haven't seen anything to change my mind.

Ivan Boldirev-ing

A no-brainer for sure, but nevertheless a great move by GM Stan Bowman to get Corey Crawford signed for three years ($8 million) before there was any unrestricted drama.

Though the Blackhawks have been done for weeks, there still hasn't been a better postseason goaltending performance than Crawford's against Vancouver.

Bench mob

Tom Thibodeau ran into one of his first real dilemmas of the playoffs in Game 2 when he couldn't get stops with Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, but then the offense went completely quiet in the fourth with Taj Gibson and Omer Asik on the floor.

Interesting to see how he handles that in Game 3 Sunday.

First-place Indians

Two of the reasons most people are still skeptical of Cleveland are Grady Sizemore, back on the DL with a sore knee, and Travis Hafner, who was a late scratch Wednesday with soreness in his right side.

This doesn't work for Cleveland unless those two stay healthy, and good luck finding anyone who believes that's possible.

Frontier gibberish

Roger Goodell has his top guys on the lookout for any teams that may be talking to each other about trades, talking to agents about deals or talking to players about anything.

The NFL is threatening fines, suspensions and Charlie Sheen tickets for anyone caught breaking the rules.

Here's a news flash for the commish: Every team is doing all of the above, and if he follows through on punishment for all involved he won't have a league to come back to when he has a league to come back to.

Let 'em play

Game 1 of Bulls-Heat was at least as physical as Game 2, but while the refs let them play in Game 1, calling only 28 fouls, Game 2 saw 28 fouls in the first half alone and 51 for the game.

Oprah factor

The list of Bulls and Heat players, coaches and execs who deferred to Oprah after she took over the UC for a couple days is the height of political correctness run amok.

Not only were they afraid to say they didn't like waiting to play Game 2, but every one of them praised her with an affection NBA players generally reserve for max contracts and supermodels.

If it's now against the law for someone to admit he doesn't give a flying flapjack that Oprah's show has come to an end, me thinks the courts will overflow.

Designated butcher

In a contest between Alfonso Soriano and the Green Monster, I'm afraid we're going to have to go with the wall on this one.

Best headline

Sportspickle.com: "Yankees bat Jorge Posada 10th behind Derek Jeter."

And finally ...

Omaha World-Herald's Brad Dickson: "When he announced that he's running for president, Newt Gingrich said his goal is to, 'Return America to full employment.' He's got his work cut out, because that would mean creating a steady job in football for Matt Millen."


• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.

Related Coverage