Monday, May 6, 2013

HEAT Check: Sweeping the Bulls is Mandatory

There's no excuse for the Miami HEAT to need more than 4 games to eliminate the Chicago Bulls from the NBA playoffs.

Two years ago, the HEAT beat the Bulls in 5 games. 

The 2011 Bulls outscored opponents by 8 points per 100 possessions. The 2013 Bulls outscored opponents by 0.3 points per 100 possessions. The 2011 Bulls put the NBA MVP on the floor with the 4th-best bench in the league. The 2013 Bulls don't have Derrick Rose, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer or Omer Asik.

The 2011 HEAT outscored opponents by 8.2 points per 100 possessions. The 2013 HEAT outscored opponents by 8.6 points per 100 possessions. The 2011 HEAT put a lesser version of LeBron James on the floor with a 1-footed Udonis Haslem and 8-fingered Mike Miller off the bench. The 2013 HEAT have a better version of LeBron with a healthier UD and Miller plus an improved bench led by Ray Allen.

The Bulls come into the 2013 Eastern Conference Semis half-dead with walking boots, spinal taps, flu-like symptoms and a sports psychologist. The HEAT come in with Dwyane Wade resting an injured right knee for 10 days just 1 year after he played Russell Westbrook to a standstill on 1 leg.

If those disadvantages don't add up to 1 less game for the Bulls, then it means the 2013 HEAT aren't as good as advertised.

I'm not ready to concede that and the HEAT shouldn't be, either. So the goal for this series should be a sweep. Plus, they owe those motherfuckers for ending the 27-game winning streak.

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