The Chicago Bulls stunned the NBA with a Game One victory in their second-round series with the Miami Heat.
The No.5 seed Bulls entered the game as 12-point underdogs, but defeated the Heat 93-86 in Miami. Chicago ended the contest by scoring 10 unanswered points.
A win in Game Two would give the Bulls a commanding 2-0 series without having played at home. They’ll try to accomplish that on Wednesday night as the two teams square off at 7 p.m. ET at AmericanAirlines Arena. The game will air on TNT, but viewers can watch a free live stream online with TNT Overtime.
Chicago will likely trot out the same depleted lineup they had on Monday night. Luol Deng will miss his fourth straight game after suffering complications from a spinal tap. Kirk Hinrich’s calf injury makes him doubtful to take the court.
Derrick Rose will be available and may not be close to returning, despite a report that said he might suit up for Game Three. Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reported that Rose could play in case of emergency on Friday. However, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said the point guard’s status hasn’t changed.
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Rose’s absence hasn’t really affected Chicago in the playoffs because his replacement has done such a good job. Nate Robinson is leading the team in postseason scoring and continued his hot play against Miami. He scored 27 points and dished out nine assists on Monday night. He scored the Bulls final seven points to help them pull away with the victory.
In order to shut down Chicago’s top scorer, LeBron James may be assigned to guard Robinson. Besides being named the MVP, James finished second in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year. His ability to defend all five positions helped him finish just behind Mark Gasol for the award, and he could be asked to stop Robinson, who is almost a foot short than he.
On the offensive end, James will need a lot more help from his teammates if the Heat want to even up the series. He scored 24 points on 17 shot attempts, but Dwyane Wade was the only other Miami player to score in double-digits. Chris Bosh went just three of 10 from the field for nine points.
Jimmy Butler spent most of the game covering James for the Bulls. He didn’t give up many easy baskets, but all the minutes he’s been logging could come back to hurt him. Butler has played every minute of the last three games, making him only the fourth player to do so in NBA history.
Despite the Game One loss and their 2-3 season record against Chicago, Miami is still a heavy favorite in Game Two. The Heat are favored by 12.5-points at most Las Vegas casinos.
Prediction: Miami 91, Chicago 84