Heat vs. Bulls NBA playoff preview
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
No. 1 Miami Heat (70-16) vs. No. 5 Chicago Bulls (49-40)
- Game 1 at Miami: Monday, May 6, 7, TNT
- Game 2 at Miami: Wednesday, May 8, 7, TNT
- Game 3 at Chicago: Friday, May 10, 8, ESPN
- Game 4 at Chicago
- Game 5 at Miami
- Game 6 at Chicago
- Game 7 at Miami
Season series: Tied 2-2.
Points per game (per 100 possessions): Heat 102.9 (110.3), Bulls 92.9 (100.3).
Points allowed per game (per 100 possessions): Heat 95.0 (100.5), Bulls 92.9 (100.3).
Matchups worth watching: Heat forward LeBron James vs. Bulls forwards Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler, Heat center Chris Bosh vs. Bulls center Joakim Noah.
Scoring leaders: James (26.8 ppg), Deng (16.5).
Why Miami will win: James won his fourth NBA MVP in five seasons, and his ability to dominate basketball games is no secret. The Bulls aren’t helped by their many injuries and ailments, including Luol Deng’s recent illness that kept him out of Games 6 and 7 vs. the Nets. Deng and Butler helped neutralize James in the Bulls’ two regular-season wins vs. the Heat.
Why Chicago will win: The first step is overcoming all the health problems. Derrick Rose’s return would be a big help, though no one expects that as he’s missed the whole season. When Chicago plays its best defense, though, it can control a game.
Did you know? In five of the six seasons in which the Heat and Bulls have met in the playoffs, the winner has gone on to win the NBA championship.
Prediction: Heat in four.