Chicago Bulls AT Miami Heat
May 22, 2011 at 8:30 PM EST
Opening Line: MIA -5
Current Line: MIA -4.5
Opening Moneyline: MIA -215, CHI +185
Current Moneyline: MIA -210, CHI +175
Opening Total: 179
Current Total: 179.5
Series Tied 1-1
The 96 hour lay off between Game 2 and tonight’s game couldn’t have been any more timely…for both teams. Both the Bulls and Heat are beat and and wearing each other down, and there’s still the NBA Finals after this. Will the fatigue of this series play a dominant role in making sure the Western Conference champion wins the Larry O’Brien?
Heat coach Erik Sploestra spoke on the rest: “Fortunately, we were able to have some days to recuperate,” he said. “Our guys, they’re not shying away from it (aggressive play). Neither team is. Both teams have built these habits for the entire season. We’ve proven we’re an aggressive, attacking, physical defense that rebounds the basketball. … They’ve proven to be the same. So you have two things colliding into each other.”
After their three playoff losses, the Bulls have come back to win the next game by double digits. That just doesn’t seem likely against a team as good as the Heat, though.
“Don’t jinx us like that,” MVP guard Derrick Rose said. “This is going to be a crazy game, where I think they’re going to have a lot of confidence,” he continued… “Some way, somehow, we’ve just got to come up with this win no matter how we get it. We’ve just got to have more intensity than them and play way more aggressive.”
While the Western Conference finals have been a shootout, the Eastern Conference finals have been a grind. In Game 2, the Bulls only managed 29 points in the second half. LeBron James naturally We’re all in it together,” said James…I made a few plays down the stretch. But if we didn’t continue to get stops defensively and give ourselves an opportunity to get in that position, we wouldn’t be 1-1 now.”credited great Miami defense rather than a poorly conceived Bulls offense.
If nothing else, LeBron has been playing enough to lay claim to all the Heat have done. He has played 40 minutes or more in 9 of the last 10 Heat games, but he never seems to wear down, leading Spolestra to conclude, “In many ways, he’s a freak of nature.” For a player with Karl Malone’s frame with added athleticism and speed, it seems to be a fair judgement. No one has came before or after LeBron that was such a physical specimen. While Dwight Howard could favorably also be called a “freak of nature,” that doesn’t mean there is any need or reason for comparisons.
Some betting trends:
Chicago is 18-4 SU in their last 22 games and they are 10-2 SU in their last 12 games on the road. The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Bulls’ last 6 games on the road. The total has also gone UNDER in 11 of the last 15 against the Heat. The Bulls are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games against the Heat and the total has once again gone UNDER in 4 of the last 6 against Miami. The Bulls are 1-5 SU in their last 6 road games in Miami. The Bulls are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games on the road in Miami.
The total has gone OVER in 6 of the Heat’s last 8 games and the Heat are 13-3 in their last 16 games and they are 5-0 SU in their last 5 at home. The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami’s last 5 games at home. The Heat are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games against the Bulls. The Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against the Bulls. The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Miami’s last 15 games against the Chicago Bulls while the Total has gone UNDER in 4 of Miami’s last 6 home games against the Bulls. The Heat are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games at home against the Bulls.
The Heat and Bulls combined are shooting only 43% from the floor and both realize the importance of tonight’s “swing” game. A 2-1 series lead always seems to be a better predicament than having to come back after dropping the crucial game 3, which may not be a good thing for the Bulls since they are 1-5 SU in their last six in Miami.