The Eastern Conference Finals have a totally different feel than their counterpart in the West. While the Mavs and Thunder have been scoring over 100 points a game the Bulls and Heat can barely get to 85. The Heat beat the Bulls in Game 2 85-75 and both teams are making it very hard time for each other to get quality shots and score.
Both of these teams are young and inexperienced in terms of playoff basketball. The Bulls showed their lack of experience with the way they approached Game 2. Having won Game 1 with a tremendous defensive and rebounding effort the Bulls did not show up for Game 2 with the same mental approach. The young Bulls obviously did not understand the psychological forces of the playoffs. The Heat who lost Game 1, were forced for three days to think about all of the things they did not do in Game 1. They watched film, practiced, and were asked questions about all of their problems. Luckily for them they had the time to also do something about their problems. They played Game 2 with the desperation and an urgency that a team facing a 0-2 hole would play with. The Heat came out for Game 2 and attacked the rim, they were the more aggressive team from the opening tap. They put the Bulls on their heels and did not back down from them for 48 minutes.
The Heat defended, fought on the glass, and got to a high percentage of loose balls. The Heat showed tremendous resolve in doing what was necessary to tie this series up at 1-1. The Heat have had their critics all year, in Game 2 they showed they have as much substance as they do hype.
Game 3 Adjustments:
1.Lack of Defense: Defense has Signature all season. Defense. They did not have a great defensive effort in Game 2. The Bulls calling card is defense. It was the main reason that they won Game 1. Unfortunately was also the main reason they lost Game 2. Their defense from the opening jump ball just was not good enough. The Heat got to the rim for layups and dunks early in the game and set the tone for the game. That did not happen in Game 1. Tremendous lack of ball pressure. Put up no resistance from beginning of the game. Lacked the physical approach they had in Game 1. They bullied the Heat in Game 1. Defense, glass, loose balls etc.
If the Bulls want to win Game 3 or this series they must play defense at least 3 more times with the tenacity, effort, intensity they did in Game 1. Allowed James and Wade 33 points in Game 1. They had 31 at half and finished with 53 points in Game 2.
2 .Miami Offense: The Miami offense was much better in Game 2.
The Heat were effective because of their effort and the Bulls lack of effort. They had much more action: cuts, screens, picks and player movement which allowed them to score in different ways. These two teams are terrific defensively and it is very hard to get quality shots and score. The Heat must continue to work hard to get hi percentage shots each time down the court. Lebron James and Dwayne Wade who only scored 31 xxx points in Game 1 were much more effective in Game 2 scoring 53 points.
James scored 29 points 12-21 from the field
Wade scored 24 points 50% from the field
3.Udonis Haslem was one of the biggest factors that the Heat won Game 2. He played 23 minutes and scored 13 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Haslem helped his team on the offensive glass where he nabbed 3 offensive rebounds. He was the MVP of the game for the Heat. With Haslem back in the lineup he provides Erik Spoelstra a lot of flexibility with his frontcourt. He allows the Heat to play him at the power forward and keep LBJ away from that position. Haslem is an excellent team defender and rebounder. He will fight the Bulls on the glass, he helped them improve their effort on the glass from Game 1 where they got hammered.
4. Bench Scoring: the Bulls have a much better and deeper bench compared to the Heat. In Game 1 they outscored the Heat
But in Game 2 they only outscored the Heat 20-17. They need to outplay the Heat bench
Taj Gibson played well again
Kyle Korver 1-7 from the 3 point line
5. ReoWhen Derrick Rose struggles to score, the Bulls seem to struggle to score as a team. Rose struggled to score in Game 2. Shooting woes for the Bulls Hard time scoring
Deng 5-15 took to many 3 point shots settled too much
Rose struggled to finish like he normally does
Even had 5 shots blocked
When Rose struggles to score the Bulls normally struggle to score
Really showed up from the 3 point line
Game 1 10/21 from the 3 point line
Game 2 3/12 1st half and 0/8 in 2nd half
3/20 in the Game 2
6. Carlos Boozer where are you? Although Deng and Rose must play better for the Bulls to win this series, the one guy who needs to step up his game and provide some consistency in Game 3.Carlos Boozer was brought to the Chicago Bulls to provide an inside scorer. Someone that the Bulls could throw the ball to in the low post and could get them hi percentage shots in the paint. Knock down the mid range jump shot.
Defend, and rebound