2013 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinals Game #5
#5 Chicago Bulls at #1 Miami Heat
Heat Lead Best of Seven Series 3-1
Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 7:05 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
American Airlines Arena – Miami, Florida
Opening Line: Miami -14
Current Line: Miami -14
Opening Total: 183
Current Total: 182
Opening Money Line: Heat -2500 / Bulls +1450
Current Money Line: Heat -2200 / Bulls +1300
After a stifling defensive performance in game 4 Monday night in Chicago, the Miami Heat are on the verge of advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third straight year. The Heat lead the Chicago Bulls 3-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The shorthanded Bulls are playing without forward Luol Deng and guards Kirk Hinrich and Derrick Rose. all three will miss game 5 as well.
Chicago managed to pull off the massive upset in game one 93-86, closing the game on a 10-0 run. The loss snapped a 12 game winning streak for Miami. The Heat then won the next three games in the series by double digits. Miami crushed Chicago 115-78 in game two in Miami. The Heat pulled away late in a hard fought 104-94 win in game 3 in Chicago. In game 4, The Heat completely dominated 88-65. The Bulls shot 26% from the field and made only 1 of 11 3 pointers. Chicago scored only 9 points in the third quarter. All of those were franchise playoff lows for the Bulls including points scored. The Bulls scored 38% of their points from the free throw line. Miami has won 9 straight road games dating back to the regular season.
LeBron James scored 27 points and added 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals. Chris Bosh scored 14 points and added 6 rebounds and 4 blocks. No other Heat player scored more than 9 points. Dwyane Wade aggravated the bruised knee that has been bothering him for the last month or two. He is probable Wednesday night but the Heat could rest him before the next round. Wade is averaging a career low 12 points a game in the playoffs so he obviously isn’t healthy. No Bulls’ player scored more than 14 points.
The Bulls are coached by Tom Thibodeau. Chicago is outscoring teams 93.2-92.9 this season. The Bulls are 29th in scoring and 3rd in points allowed. The Bulls are shooting 43.7% from the field and 35.3% from 3 point range. Chicago is 21st or worse in both categories. The Bulls are #6 in free throw shooting making 77.3% from the line. Chicago averages 43.2 rebounds per game and give up 41.1 per game. Chicago is 8th or better in both categories. Bulls’ opponents are shooting 44.3% from the field and 34.6% from 3 point range. They are in the top 10 in both categories. Chicago averages 22.8 assists, 7.2 steals, 5.5 blocks, and 14.7 turnovers. Chicago is 40-53 ATS and the total is 44-48-1
In the playoffs, small forward Luol Deng averages 13.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1 steal per game. Forward Carlos Boozer averages 17.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Noah averages 11.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 3.1 blocks. He has a foot injury. Pojnt guard Nate Robinson averages 17 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1 steal a game. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Richard Hamilton, Marco Belinelli, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, Nazr Mohammed and Hinrich make up the rest of the rotation.
Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. The Heat are 51-38 ATS this season and the total is 44-43-2. Miami is outscoring teams 103-95 this season. The Heat are #5 in scoring and in points allowed. Miami is shooting 49.6% from the field and 39.6% from 3 point range. The Heat lead the league in field goal shooting and are #2 in 3 point shooting. Miami makes 75.4% of their free throws. The Heat are last in the league in rebounding at 38.6 per game, and fourth in rebounds allowed with 40.1. Miami opponents are shooting 44% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. Miami is 11th or better in both categories. The Heat average 23 assists, 8.7 steals, 5.4 blocks, and 13.3 turnovers per game.
In the playoffs, forward LeBron James is averaging 24.5 points, 7.8.1 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1 steal per game. He won his fourth MVP award. Guard Dwyane Wade averages 13.7 points, 7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 3 steals per game. Forward/center Chris Bosh averages 12.8 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game. Guard Ray Allen averages 16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. Point guard Mario Chalmers averages 6.5 points, 3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Forward Shane Battier averages 5 points and 2.3 rebounds. Norris Cole, Rashard Lewis, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, and Chris Andersen make up the rest of the rotation.
Chicago is 4-1 ATS after a double digit home loss, 2-5 against teams with winning records, overall, and against Eastern Conference teams, 1-4 in Wednesday games, and against Southeast teams.
Miami is 5-1 ATS against Central Division teams, and on one day rest, 13-3 against Eastern Conference teams, 8-2 after a straight up win, and a win by 10 points or more, 4-1 against teams with winning records, 17-5 overall, 21-7-1 in conference semifinal games, 9-3 after a cover, and 11-5 after allowing 75 points or less. The Heat have covered 4 of the last 5 against the Bulls, and were the favorite in all five.
Chicago has had a great run. Just getting this far with all the injuries is an accomplishment. However, playing with a 7 man rotation has taken its toll physically. The Bulls looked tired Monday night. I see them hanging around for a half tonight, just because of guts and pride. Miami simply has too much though and closes them out tonight.