The Miami Heat opened up the season the right way. With the championship banner and championship rings (which are massive) being presented before the game, emotions were high for the Heat, but they were able to shut down the Bulls and start the 2013-14 season with a win.
Emotions were also high for the Chicago Bulls due to the return of Derrick Rose. All weekend the talk has been about Rose returning and how good of a preseason he had.
Don’t get me wrong, Rose is a great player and will eventually get back on track, but tonight wasn’t his night. Rose started the game off by getting the ball stolen from him just within the first few seconds of the game. He opened up a bit throughout the 1st quarter and made some nice moves to the basket but his shot was off and he looked out of sync. All of the talk about him winning MVP this year is crazy to me considering he’s coming off of a serious injury and of course LeBron James is at the top of his game so I don’t see it.
It’s easy to say that James is the face of the NBA. Within the past three days I’ve seen five LeBron commercials. He just had a huge release of his new basketball shoes too; the LeBron 11’s, so LeBron has been all over television and the internet. His new Nike commercial is one of the best commercials I’ve seen.
Besides LeBron being the “King” that he says he is, the Heat sent a message to the league tonight. They proved that they’re a better team and that they still can flick that “switch” whenever they want. By flicking that switch, I mean turning up the tempo and going on long runs like they did tonight. During the second quarter the Heat went on a 17-0 run which set the Bulls up for a loss. The Bulls fought back in the fourth quarter and came within 9 points, but for most of the second half the Heat led by double digits.
LeBron played solid tonight. He looked fit and still has the same mentality he had last season; the mentality of winning a championship and knowing that he’s the best on the court. LeBron had 17 points, eight assists, and six rebounds compared to Rose scoring 12 points along with four assists.
Dwyane Wade looked like his old self being active and playing good defense. He scored 13 points, grabbed four rebounds, and had three assists.
Chris Bosh played very well. He found himself outside the paint a few times making a 3-point shot and a couple of deep two pointers. Bosh scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds and performances like this is exactly what the Heat need from Bosh.
Shane Battier shot very well from the beyond the arch making all four of his 3-point shots. Norris Cole also added some spark to the Heat’s offense with his 11 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
Overall, the Heat played great defense. They were blocking shots, stealing the ball, trapping successfully, and making the Bulls force shots. Offensively, the Heat still show that once they get into a fast paced offense where they are constantly in attack mode; they can’t be stopped. LeBron and Wade can’t be stopped in transition and when defenders get too focused on them, a play gets set up for Battier or Ray Allen and they drain a three.
The Heat have so many weapons and that showed tonight. Mario Chalmers scored 13 points, Ray Allen 11, and Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen scored six. Greg Oden didn’t play but once he returns and puts up numbers, the Heat bench will be able to maintain a lead.
The Heat owned the Bulls tonight but it’s only the first game and a lot of basketball is left to play. The Heat play the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night so we’ll see how they bounce back after a good season opening victory tonight.