Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat on Sunday May 14th ended in a tremendous victory for the Bulls. The game was tied at half time, and the 3rd and 4th quarters determined the game as the Bulls came back strong and ready to win it and Miami could not keep up with their sudden fire.
In Game 2 though, the Bulls were not able to stop a late surge by LeBron James, and saw their defeat.
After half time, the Bulls came back weak. They were down by 11 in the third quarter, but were able to tie the game with 7:16 left on the clock. Despite this, as the game went on, they missed shots and wasted opportunities. This struggle lead them to score only 10 points in the fourth quarter and to an 85-75 loss.
The Bulls shot only 34% and were 4 for 16 in the final 12 minutes. The nerves caught up to the star of the Bulls, Derrick Rose, who was just 7 for 23 shooting, missing all of his attempts in the fourth quarter, and making only two points – on free throws.
About his performance as well as his team’s, Rose said, “If anything, they closed down the lane, but I missed a lot of layups. Shots I normally hit just weren’t falling. Everybody was just missing shots that are normally just easy for us.”
The Bulls did succeed in keeping the Heat under control for the first 7 minutes and a half of the final quarter, as they kept the three stars Wade, James and Bosh scoreless. With several chances to take the lead though, the Bulls misfired and James took over with a 3-pointer and then another jumper.
The Bulls were not able to keep their defense strong enough against James and Wade, and allowed them to get inside the lane and head to the rim or draw fouls.
In the first seven minutes of the second half, Chicago got seven offensive rebounds, and then only two in the remaining time of the half. They also missed 14 of their 18 field goal attempts, and with this set the tone for the night and were not able to recover.
For Game 3, the Bulls will have to get into a shooting flow, not get stuck like they did in Game 2. In Game 2 for the Bulls, Luol Deng was 5 for 15, Carlos Boozer 3 for 10 and Kyle Korver just 1 for 7. The Heat instead got better scores from its stars, as James finished with 29 – 14 more than Game 1 – and Wade, who scored 24 after scoring 18 in the opener.
Game 3 is a long way off – Sunday night. About this, Korver said, “Trust me, we would rather play right away especially after a loss like this.”
The Bulls now head to Miami with the Eastern Conference Finals tied at 1-1 and the Heat finally with home court advantage.