To say that these two teams do not like each other very much would be an understatement. Their playoff series last season was riddled with technical and flagrant fouls.
Surely, tensions will increase with the Bulls having to watch members of the Heat receive championship rings before the contest begins October 29. Then there is the fact that this will be the first regular-season game for Rose since tearing his ACL two seasons ago. Emotions are likely to be running high on both sides.
A valiant effort is always put forth, but if the Bulls are to come away victorious there are a few key areas in which the team must excel:
LeBron James is too big, too strong and too good to be kept out of the lane. The more jump shots Chicago can force him to take, the better. But he will inevitably get into the paint. The key is to not allow him to kick the ball out to wide open shooters when he does. Something must be taken away. James is going to get his. The Bulls cannot allow Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, and Shane Battier to get theirs as well.
The big three of Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng always comes to play. Boozer, on the other hand, has historically struggled against the Heat -- disappearing at times on offense, and being completely dominated on defense. He will be matched up with Chris Bosh a large majority of the night as Bosh is technically a power forward despite playing center for Miami.
Boozer must win this battle, or at least break even. An inability to contain Bosh will put too much pressure on the Bulls' defense, and being a non-factor on the other end will make the offense one-dimensional. In addition, size up front is a weakness of Miami. This weakness needs to be exploited.
The Bulls' offense has looked completely inept at times. While the return of Rose should help tremendously in this area, he cannot do it alone. His teammates will need to knock down outside shots in order to keep the Heat defense honest. They must also get some easy transition baskets. The Bulls remain one of the best in the business defensively. However, at the end of the day, Miami is going to put points on the board. They must be able to keep up.
You almost have to play a flawless game in order to beat the Heat. If the Bulls can manage these three aforementioned things, they will have an excellent chance at starting the season 1-0: Keep Miami's shooters in check, get Boozer going on both sides of the ball, and convert easy scoring opportunities. Not to mention tainting the Heat's special night.Acamea Deadwiler is a Chicago-area native with several years experience covering the NBA, including the Chicago Bulls, for Examiner.com. She has also been featured in Bounce magazine, SLAM Online, and various other publications. Follow Acamea on Twitter @AcameaLD.
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Derrick Rose Will Be Under More Pressure Than Anyone in the NBA This Season
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