|Eastern Conference - Semifinals - Best of 7 - Game 1|
|Last 5 Games||3-2||+2.1||2-3||4-1||100.6||51.6||46.7%||54.2||101.6||49.0||43.8%||52.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||93.5||47.1||36-82||43.9%||5-15||34.9%||16-21||76.7%||52||12||23||20||7||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||97.8||49.3||37-82||45.4%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.0%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||93.4||47.6||36-81||44.6%||5-16||33.2%||16-20||77.1%||50||12||23||20||7||13||4|
|Stats Against (All Games)||93.4||46.3||36-80||44.3%||6-16||34.3%||17-23||74.1%||50||11||19||20||7||13||6|
|vs opponents averaging||97.6||49.2||37-82||45.1%||7-20||35.7%||17-22||74.9%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||95.1||46.6||36-80||45.4%||6-17||34.8%||17-23||73.4%||49||11||19||19||7||13||5|
|Last 5 Games||5-0||+3||4-1||1-3||101.0||49.4||50.5%||49.6||86.8||45.2||45.1%||46.0|
|Team Stats (All Games)||102.7||51.4||38-77||49.6%||9-22||39.3%||17-23||75.3%||47||8||23||19||9||13||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.2||49.4||37-82||45.4%||7-20||35.8%||17-22||75.2%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||106.3||53.4||39-77||50.8%||9-21||40.4%||19-25||77.7%||46||8||23||19||9||13||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||94.6||48.6||35-81||44.0%||8-22||34.6%||16-21||76.0%||48||11||20||20||8||15||3|
|vs opponents averaging||97.2||49||37-82||44.8%||7-20||35.5%||16-22||75.0%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||95.2||49.1||36-80||44.6%||8-23||34.0%||16-21||75.4%||47||10||19||21||8||15||2|
|Average power rating of opponents played: CHICAGO 94.5, MIAMI 94.9|
|5/6/2013||@ MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/8/2013||@ MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/10/2013||MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|3/29/2013||@ NEW ORLEANS||108-89||W||-7.5||W||188.5||O||42-69||60.9%||32||13||34-74||45.9%||43||19|
|3/31/2013||@ SAN ANTONIO||88-86||W||9||W||194||U||33-71||46.5%||37||10||35-79||44.3%||57||12|
|5/6/2013||CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/8/2013||CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/10/2013||@ CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|CHICAGO: GUARDS: The best guess on DERRICK ROSE is a February return. But an ACL injury usually isn't 100 percent until the second full year back . . . With Rose out, KIRK HINRICH figures to play heavy minutes early. He's a defensive specialist who will pass and watch on offense . . . NATE ROBINSON could push Hinrich for minutes. He's the offensive half of that platoon, but Thibodeau almost always leans defense . . . RICHARD HAMILTON will carry a bigger offensive load while Rose is recovering. He's a shadow of his former self . . . MARCO BELINELLI is a nice addition. He's solid defensively, and he brings the long-range shooting Chicago lacks. Don't be surprised if he pushes Hamilton . . . Rookie MARQUIS TEAGUE will mostly sit and watch this year. FORWARDS: After avoiding wrist surgery, LUOL DENG should be Chicago's top scorer while Rose is out. He's the only one on this team who even has a chance to generate his own offense . . . CARLOS BOOZER continues to be a major disappointment. In the past it's been his atrocious defense, but now he's taken a step back offensively as well. He may score more with Rose out, but he'll continue to sit late in close games . . . TAJ GIBSON should be in for a bigger role. With Omer Asik gone, he's one of only two defensively capable bigs on this roster . . . VLADIMIR RADMANOVIC will try to replace some of the three-point shooting they lost when Kyle Korver left . . . JIMMY BUTLER has a puncher's chance at a rotation spot after a good summer. CENTERS: JOAKIM NOAH was still working his way back from that badly sprained ankle this summer. His durability is questionable, but the Bulls will have to lean on Noah for more minutes now that Omer Asik is gone . . . NAZR MOHAMMED steps into Asik's role as Noah's backup. But while Asik was an active defender, Mohammed is more of just a big body with six fouls to give.|
|MIAMI: GUARDS: The regular season goal for DWYANE WADE is to just stay healthy. Even following knee surgery, he's still good enough to pile up numbers, but the minutes won't be there in the regular season . . . That's why the Heat brought in RAY ALLEN. He and Wade will share the floor at times, but Allen should primarily play off the bench. His role will be to knock down the wide-open threes Wade and LeBron James create . . . After all the big plays he made in the postseason, MARIO CHALMERS is entrenched as the starting point guard, despite being plagued by a bad hammy in the preseason . . . Super-quick NORRIS COLE looks like he'll become one of the NBA's better backup point guards . . . If he doesn't retire, the absurdly brittle MIKE MILLER will see limited regular-season minutes . . . TERREL HARRIS will likely make the team because he's willing to play defense. FORWARDS: While another title is their No. 1 priority, LeBRON JAMES has shown no need to rest during the regular season. He'll play full-time minutes and be in the thick of the MVP race . . . CHRIS BOSH remains integral to the offense with his ability to pull opposing bigs away from the basket. His stats don't reflect his actual value . . . SHANE BATTIER will continue to be a defensive specialist whose offensive role is limited to shooting open threes . . . UDONIS HASLEM is another guy who will get held back in the regular season. He should lead their low-post rotation . . . RASHARD LEWIS' knee problems have robbed him of athleticism . . . But Lewis should beat out fellow shooter JAMES JONES for a rotation spot . . . JARVIS VARNADO is a shot-blocking force with little to no offensive game. CENTERS: JOEL ANTHONY will continue to tag-team with Haslem in the middle. Anthony is an absolute negative on the offensive end, but he brings more size and shot-blocking than Haslem . . . DEXTER PITTMAN will be battling for a roster spot. Sexy Dexy has shown no signs of being an NBA-caliber player so far in his career . . . MICKELL GLADNESS is a better alternative than Pittman on both ends of the floor.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (CHICAGO-MIAMI) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(UPDATES with Deng out, Hinrich questionable)
*Bulls-Heat Preview* ====================
By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer
Chicago At Miami, Game One, 7:00 p.m. EDT
MIAMI (AP) - If needed, there's plenty of things Miami and Chicago could use as extra motivation before meeting in a playoff series, like how the Heat rolled to a win when they met in the Eastern Conference finals two years ago or how the Bulls snapped the reigning champions' 27-game winning streak down the stretch of this regular season.
Then again, maybe the simple fact these clubs don't particularly like each other is all the fuel they'll need.
Top-seeded Miami plays host to fifth-seeded Chicago in Game 1 of an East semifinal series on Monday night, with the Heat coming off a week of rest after sweeping Milwaukee and the Bulls dealing with aftereffects of a grueling, seven-game first-round series.
Chicago took an injury-and-illness-riddled roster into Brooklyn and ousted the Nets on Saturday night.
"Them being the Bulls is enough," Heat forward Chris Bosh said Sunday. "Heat-Bulls, I think that's enough to really get your minds going and have some passion for the series. I mean, it's the second round. We have some major accomplishments we're trying to get to and they're a good, tough basketball team. I think given our history before, that's enough to lace `em up and get going."
The teams split four regular-season meetings, each going 1-1 in home games.
For Miami, the biggest injury question is Dwyane Wade, who is officially listed as day-to-day with bone bruises around his right knee, but is expected to Monday. For Chicago, the medical report is far tougher to decipher. Luol Deng wrote on Twitter that he would "see you guys in Miami" after missing the end of the Brooklyn series because he needed a spinal tap to rule out meningitis, and Kirk Hinrich missed the last three games of Round 1 with a calf injury.
It appears Deng will have to wait at least a few more days to see the Heat. He's still not with the team and early Monday was ruled out for Game 1, with coach Tom Thibodeau saying he isn't sure when Deng will rejoin the club.
Hinrich is a game-time decision for the opener.
"We know how good Miami is," Thibodeau said. "We're going to have to be at our best, or playing great basketball. They're a very deep team, extremely well-coached, very well-balanced. So we're going to have to be at our best, right from the start."
The Bulls arrived in Miami early Sunday and took the day off, which was surely a well-needed break.
Meanwhile, a couple hours before LeBron James formally picked up his fourth NBA MVP award, the Heat were in their practice gymnasium at their home arena, mouth guards in place, knee pads in position, going through a physical workout. For the first time since ousting Milwaukee, they took the floor knowing which team would be their next foe.
"We're preparing to make sure that we play our game, in our building," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We haven't played in a week and we understand that. We've been working hard this week. Our guys are looking forward to getting out there and competing. So let's tip this thing up."
The Derrick Rose watch is still on for the Bulls.
The star point guard hasn't played in more than a year after needing reconstructive knee surgery. Rose often works out before games and there's almost daily speculation about whether he will return in these playoffs - so the Heat say they will be ready either way.
"We gameplan with the awareness of everybody," Spoelstra said. "But again, the majority of what we do won't change. We've built up these habits."
Regardless of who's healthy or not, the Bulls got Miami's attention - as if they didn't have it already - by the way they fought through plenty of adversity in the opening round.
Bulls forward Carlos Boozer said after Saturday's win in Brooklyn that he didn't think many people expected Chicago to win.
"We've been hearing that noise all year that we don't have enough, that we're missing this and we're missing that," Boozer said.
James insisted the Heat aren't among those who might think that way. In fact, the now four-time MVP said he expected Chicago to pull off the rare trick of winning a Game 7 on the road against Brooklyn.
"It's how it should be in the East right now," James said. "It's the top four teams. That's what I believe. No matter the seedings, it's the top four teams, with us, Chicago and Indiana-New York."
Bulls center Joakim Noah said he expected a physical matchup - "it's going to be a war," he said - and the Heat said Sunday they were bracing for plenty of rugged play in this series.
In fact, it almost sounds like both sides would be disappointed otherwise.
"It's going to be hard-fought," Heat forward Shane Battier said. "It's going to be physical. It's going to be emotional. And I think it's going to be well-played. That's all that matters."
Miami needed only five games to beat the Bulls in the East finals in 2011, even after losing Game 1 of that series. The teams figured to be on a collision course last season before Rose went down in the first round, and this year Miami dropped a 101-97 decision in Chicago that left the Heat six games shy of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers' NBA-record 33-game winning streak.
And now, here they go again.
"We've got to win four games and we've got to take it game by game," Wade said. "Can't worry about that. That was the regular season. That was fun. That's over with. This is a different ballgame."
|Last Updated: 12/22/2014 12:59:56 PM EST|