The Bulls weren’t able to seal up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last night, falling to the second place Miami Heat 83-72 in Miami.
The Bulls were once again without their superstar Derrick Rose. Without their superstar, the Bulls fell into trouble, showing an inability to score against Miami’s suffocating defense, putting up a 17 point second quarter and a horrendous 11-points fourth quarter.
The Bulls actually managed to play fairly well in this game. They were in the game up until about five minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Bulls were in the game for pretty much its entirety, they just couldn’t string together any type of consistent offensive attack to gain the lead and ever put pressure on Miami.
While the Bulls shot only 35.7 percent from the field, I felt like their offense wasn’t too terrible as far as execution. Miami definitely did a good job on making it difficult for the Bulls to score, but the Bulls ended up getting a lot of open looks that they were just missing.
Overall, the Bulls should be happy with how their season series with the Heat played out. They were able to split the series 2-2, with Rose not playing in two of the games, and Rose being completely ineffective after returning from injury for another one of them. I think the Bulls have the Heat figured out defensively (as do the Heat the Bulls), so just like the playoffs last year, every game is going to be really close with the winner decided by who makes the few key plays down the stretch.
The Bulls should probably still be the No. 1 seed. The loss to Washington earlier this week definitely hurts, but the Bulls are still in the driver’s seat. Hopefully they can get Rose back for Saturday’s game against Dallas and pull off two straight wins against Dallas and Indiana to put a ton of pressure on Miami. Don’t see the Bulls losing to the Cavs if Rose returns.
Miami should win both of their games against Washington. The Celtics are a viable threat to beat the Heat and help us out, and the Rockets are fighting for their playoff lives, so don’t count them out of taking out the Heat too.