Chicago v Miami (Preview)

Here’s a quick rundown of how I see this playoff matchup going down:

Miami wins if: Lebron shows up… for the whole series.  If Miami falls down 2-0 or 2-1, it’s going to take a lot of mental toughness to overcome Chicago’s fantastic, grinding defense.  And Lebron does have a track record of quitness-ing in tough playoff positions.  Miami has had multiple bizzaro stretches where they’ve completely fallen asleep for quarters, halves, games, even weeks at a time.  Can’t do that in a tight playoff game.  If they can muster up the desire, Miami certainly has the talent to take the series in 6.

Chicago wins if: Rose stops being Superman.  You see, Superman never had any side-kicks and to win in the NBA, you need a sidekick (ask Lebron).  Rose has shot way too many runners, jumpers, leaners, and 3-pointers for Chicago to be playing at its best.  Deng, Boozer and Noah are all decent offensive threats and getting them involved will open up the floor allowing Rose to save his energy for attacking the rim, rather than dribbling around defenders at the 3 point line.  You can’t doubt Rose’s desire, but sometimes he needs to just pass.


Rose v the roadblocks.  I doubt Spoelstra will allow Bibby or Chalmers to guard Rose, but the fact of the matter is that Rose should have no problems getting to the rim against either of them.

Lebron v Deng.  I don’t care who the MVP of the regular season was, Lebron is still the toughest defensive assignment out there.  He’s HUGE at 6’9″ and 250 (probably 270).  Deng’s as good a defender as any to put on James (nice size, long arms), but he’s still overmatched.  More interesting, though is what Deng can and will bring for Chicago on offense.  If he’s all tied down on defense, it’s going to be hard to expect much from the Bulls’ second leading scorer in the playoffs.

Kyle Korver v anyone.  Korver has got good size, plays hard, and gives everything he’s got… unfortunately, that’s not very much on the defensive end.  Anytime he enters the game, he’s going to be a huge defensive liability.  And with Korver being the Bulls’ closer at the 2-guard, only bad things will happen if he’s stuck defending Lebron or Wade.

Boozer v Bosh.  Everyone knows the script here, but it bears repeating that for the Bulls to have ANY chance, Boozer must dominate this matchup.  Noah’s probably going to defend Bosh, which will help the Bulls immensely, but if Boozer doesn’t put up 15 and 10, and stop the Joel Anthony’s of the world, the Bulls are done.

Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers and James Jones v the 3-point line.  If the Bulls, with the great coaching and great D can simply guard 3 players every time down the court, they’re going to run Wade, James and Bosh to the ground.  these three shooters for Miami must step up and get over their shooting jitters.

Chicago’s bench v Miami’s “extras.”  Chicago has a great second unit and it has to play like a great second unit.  Miami is so soft off the bench that they’re going to have to limit the minutes that anyone off that pine gets.  So every time 2 of the big three are sitting for Miami, Chicago’s second unit must abuse the bodies that come onto the court to take their place.

What I would like to see happen: Miami loses game one because Lebron stupidly shoots a three with 5 seconds left, down 1 and Wade standing wide open under the basket.  They then fall down 3-1 as Chicago steals game 4 in Miami with Lebron sulking throughout the second half.  Finally, Miami gets eliminated in 5 with Rose shining and the SuperFriends looking lost and blaming one another as the team slowly melts down.

What will probably happen because of my luck: Miami steals game 1 in Chicago with Lebron and Wade each scoring 30 and abusing Chicago’s defense.  The series is effectively over by the time it comes back to Chicago for game 5 with Rose having twisted his ankle again, Boozer sitting out with a mild fever and Bosh putting up consecutive double-doubles in Miami.  Chicago wins game 5, because Miami decided it was a waste of time to fly back to Chicago and finishes off the Bulls in Miami in game 6, blowing them out as ridiculous amounts of confetti falls from the rafters and “We Are the Champions” blares from the loudspeakers.  Miami advances to the finals.

Actual prediction: Miami Heat in 6.  This is a tough, tough series to call, but I feel like Miami is more talented, though not as deep.  But just like in baseball where you only need starting pitchers come playoff time, Miami has the edge in the players that are going to eat minutes on the court.  The series will probably go to Miami tied at 1’s.  The Bulls will salvage game 5 to send the series back to Miami where the Heat will finish them off in impressive fashion.

Yours Truly,


    • Josh Taylor
    • May 17th, 2011

    No one can 1-on-1 guard Lebron, it’s just too tough of an assignment for anyone, but game 1 was big for Chicago, giving them more confidence, but they need to continue to team defend Lebron, and Thibodeau has the experience of doing that with Boston the last couple of years, he was the unsung catalyst of the top ranked Boston D the previous couple of years, so in a round about way, Lebron is still facing Boston and that Defense against which he has struggled in the past. Miami desperately needs 3s from some one to make the Chicago D honest and not just sag back into the lane forcing the big 3 out of their attacking comfort zone and making them shoot long jumpers over the aggressive D of Chicago. whomever is being guarded by Korver NEEDS to attack the rim, attack him specifically. Rose is still developing as well in the defensive category. Talent wise we can all agree that Miami has the most, but if they’re desire doesn’t match their talent then they won’t live up to the media driven hype last summer, if at all that is possible. It’ll be a good series though, and am looking forward to the rest of the series.

    • Dad
    • May 18th, 2011

    I noticed I can cut out this from your comment: “Korver NEEDS to attack the rim.” Now that’s a joke.

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