After a strong finish by the injury-depleted Chicago Bulls team that shocked the Miami Heat in game 1, Lebron James and company look to even the series up at one a piece tonight in the American Airlines Arena.
Nate Robinson , the unsung hero of the 2013 playoffs, led the Bulls in game one with 27 points and 9 assists. Robinson also contributed to 25 of the last 35 points the Bulls scored in game one through assisting or scoring. There have been talks leading up to this game 2 that 6-foot-8, 250-pound, 4-time MVP Lebron James would be checking 5-9, 180-pound Nate Robinson. According to an article on ESPNChicago.com, James had this to say about the challenge he seems to be facing in game 2 guarding a scorer like Robinson. “It wouldn’t be a surprise if I matched up with him,” James said Tuesday. “But I’ll take the challenge on [defense].”
Is this a must win for the Heat? Perhaps is may be, but this is not unfamiliar territory for Miami, as they have trailed in 4 of the past 5 playoff series they’ve been in, and have come back and won each of them. But going down 0-2 against a confident Bulls team is something this Miami team, who have won 41 of the past 43 games they played before losing to the Bulls in game one, would not want to deal with.
But the Bulls team will again most likely be without all-star forward Luol Deng who has been out with a spinal injury, and their starting point guard Kirk Hinrich who has been out the past four games due to an injury to his calf , as they are both doubtful for game 2.
But whenever there is a topic about the injuries to this Bulls team, theres no way you can’t talk about the status of MVP guard Derrick Rose who has not yet been officially ruled out to play in game 2, or any game in this series for that matter. As of late there has been many speculations going around about D-Rose’s injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the playoffs last year, and the whole regular season and playoffs this year. Fans in Chicago want their MVP playing since the doctors cleared him to go a couple months ago, but I agree with what Bulls’ all-star forward Joakim Noah had to say to those fans, which is to “shut up.”
As a fan of the game I honestly don’t understand how the Bulls faithful can be mad at a guy like D-Rose for considering to sit out this year when he literally put this Bulls organization back on the map. Even though he hasn’t played a game this year, he’s been this teams biggest fan as he has been on the sideline cheering his teammates on. And besides, this Bulls team is riding on confidence and chemistry, something you know would get disrupted if a player like Rose would return to the line up.
Back to tonight’s game though, I believe the Miami Heat will come out with a lot more intensity then they did in game 1 and take game 2 respectively with a score of 106 to 91. They have too much going on in south beach to be going down 0-2 heading into Chicago. And if I stand corrected Miami does have a man named Lebron James on the squad who happens to be the best basketball player on the planet, so I expect him to have one of those “Lebron James” nights where he finishes with over 30 points and close to a triple double.
Look for this series to be all even up going into Friday night’s game 3 showdown in Chicago.