For the first time in the 2011 NBA season the Chicago Bulls look defeated. After losing game 3 in Miami frustrations were high and heads were hanging low. How could a team that owned the Heat in the regular season score 75 and 85 points in consecutive games and shoot a miserable 39% for the series?
Give credit to Miami’s defense. The Heat are crowding league MVP Derrick Rose and forcing him to give up the ball. The problem is no one else on the Bulls roster is capable of scoring.
Carlos Boozer was good offensively in game 3 scoring 26 points and grabbing 17 rebounds, but outside of Rose (20 points) and Gibson (11 points) he had no help. Luol Deng is averaging 16 points in the Eastern Conference Finals which is one point behind his season average. With high-powered scorers like Wade, James, and Bosh, Deng needs to score 20-plus points a game.
Once again, give credit to Miami’s defense. The Miami Heat’s Doberman defense has fatigued Chicago in the last two games of the series. Deng, having to chase LeBron James around for 40 minutes a game leaves him spent offensively.
The Bulls two guard rotation of Bogans/Brewer/Korver have scored a combined 42 points in the first three games of the series. Chicago needs to get offense from their role players or this series is over.
If Miami is going to negate Derrick Rose’s offense someone else has to step up and make Miami pay. Is it possible?
The reason Chicago won game 1 of the series is because they were extremely hot from behind the 3-point line. The Bulls were 10-for-21 from downtown in game 1 and put up 103 points against the Heat. In game 2 Chicago shot 3-for-20 from three and in game 3 they were 5-for-12.
Chicago has also struggled from the free throw line in their two losses going 32-for-47 after shooting 17-for-20 in game 1.
The problem is shooting.
If Chicago can have one player hitting shots consistently from the outside, Heat defenders will have to respect him which will open up lanes for Derrick Rose to drive and make plays.
Speaking of Rose, he hasn’t exactly been lighting up the score board either. Rose took a measly two shots in the fourth quarter of game 3 and scored 2 of the Bulls 10 fourth quarter points in game 2.
Someone else on the Bulls has to make shots.
The term “must win” is overused in sports, but this is a must win game for the Bulls. Going down 3-1 to Miami assures a Heat/Mavericks NBA Finals rematch and puts an end to Chicago’s best season since the Jordan-era.