• December 8, 2022

Luol Dang Outplays LeBron James As Bulls Win Game One, 103-82

Forward Luol Dang knew he needed to step up in his battle against one of the NBA’s best players, LeBron James, did just that last night in leading the Chicago to a, 103-82 runaway victory. They were tied at halftime but the Bulls blew the Heat off the court in the second half.

James came into this series with the bulls eye on him because of his off season decision to go to Miami and his teary-eyed celebration after eliminating Boston. He must find a way to help the Heat recover immediately or he’s going to have trouble living this down.

It was Game one of this best of seven Eastern Conference Championship series and it wasn’t close. Miami has its work cut out for them against a Chicago team which seemed to be too big, too deep and too strong for the Heat. That beat down which the Bulls put on the Heat last night exposed Miami’s lack of hustle and muscle down low.

The Bulls were all over the offensive glass and they also limited the Heat to one shot on the other side of the floor, as they won the battle of the boards 45-32. Chicago’s big men came in with something to prove and they made a loud statement. Carlos Boozer and Yoakim Noah worked hard to get in position for second and third shots. Noah had 14 rebounds and Boozer had 9.

The other starter in the front court, Deng, stepped up in a big way and outplayed James. He scored 21 points and held the Heat forward to 15, as Deng took it to the NBA All-Star. The Bulls forward was scorching from outside the three-point line, making 4 of 6 three-point attempts. He also grabbed seven rebounds and contributed four steals.

Thanks to Deng’s defensive intensity, James never got into a rhythm to get his offensive game going, as he shot only 5 of 15 from the field and pulled down only six rebounds. I don’t see any way the Heat can win this series unless James, who is 6’8″ and weighs over 270 pounds, finds a way to get to the basket.

He and Dwyane Wade were limited to shooting a lot of long jump shots. Wade scored on only 18 points as the third man of their crew, Chris Bosh, surprisingly led them in scoring with 30 points.

NBA MVP Derrick Rose had a solid game, but he didn’t have to carry the offense load all by himself. The talented point guard scored 28 points and going 10 for 22 from the field. He also dished out 6 assists,

GCOBB

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scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
May 16, 2011 11:19 am

Chicago is too deep for Miami. Their bench are like starters to Miami’s bench. Their team is young, fast, can run with them, plays tough defense, hustles, and everyone on the team contribute. So while they will not have 3 players dominating their scoring, they will have 8-10 guys score. Their bigs are too gritty for Miami as well. Besides Rose, they don’t have the talent but they play defense hard and Miami will not outplay any of them. Did anyone see how exhausted D Wade was yesterday? That happens when you have to play the entire game and chase rose and the rest of those guard around. Miami showed their hand already on the match-ups they would try to exploit.

RonGlover
May 16, 2011 11:35 am

They screwed themselves when they went with a smaller lineup. Second chance baskets by Chicago negated Miami’s trips to the free throw line.

scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
May 16, 2011 12:40 pm

Ron, I agree but if they big they can’t run with Noah and the Bulls forwards. So they have to pick their poison. I just think it’s a bad matchup for them because they don’t have the right role players to play against this team. The guards (besides Wade) can’t do anything with any of the guards on the Bulls. And their bigs are either too small or too slow vs Chicago’s bigs.

RonGlover
May 16, 2011 1:15 pm

On top of that the Bulls players are long so spacing is easy because they can close fast. Boston couldn’t close not because they weren’t long enough but more so becayse they were too slow. This Bulls team is as quick defensively as they come.

Casper
Casper
May 16, 2011 1:18 pm

hate to do this, but “Luoi Dang?” Seriously…Luol Deng…lol…I know it’s not that far off, but still…

The Heat’s Big 3 will need to score 80-90 points a game for them to win any game in this series. That’s a TON of pressure when you have Chicago who can really spread the scoring around.

oops…just saw that i’m re-writing wout scorpio already wrote…i guess great minds think alike…

scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
May 16, 2011 1:23 pm

Agreed. Not to mention the fact that the Heat nearly threw a parade after they beat and old, banged up Boston team. Boston lost against Miami when they traded Perkins. And Miami acted like they defeated the best team left and won the championship. Forgetting that they haven’t beaten the Bulls all year long and they won 62 games.

I was looking at Chicago’s front court last night and they it was incredible to see the discipline, movement, hustle and intensity they play with on each possession. They looked like the 2008 Celtics out there. I guess Thibodeau really doesn’t know how to stop teams with individual stars. When he was in Houston, they were among the best defenses in the league, Boston was the best and now the Bulls are the best. He just flat out knows how to get his guys to shut down teams. The game was tied at halftime. I thought it was going to be a tough grinding game. He went in the locker room and knew exactly what needed to be done. The problem for the Heat is that the things Chicago are better than them at, can’t just be fixed. Your bigs can’t just get fast and aggressive. Your guards can’t just all of a sudden become great. When it comes to rebounding and loose balls, if a guy doesn’t have it in him, he can’t learn it.

scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
May 16, 2011 1:25 pm

Casper, if they have to score 90+ points between the 3 of them, they are guaranteed to lose. Wade was already gassed yesterday because his backup did nothing. There’s no way all of them can play 40+ minutes and not get help. They will easily get worn down.

RonGlover
May 16, 2011 1:36 pm

If they have to score 90+ a game they’ll be done in five or less.

fran35
fran35
May 16, 2011 2:06 pm

I was watching halftime when Kenny Smith said that he will take a decent team playing together as a team as opposed to a few individual talents. Great statement and so true. I almost didn’t even notice Rose last night despite the fact that he scored 28 pts. I was more impressed with how the Bulls played defense, rebounded and moved the ball so well. I was also impressed with how deep they were. They had 10 players play at least 10 minutes. That is extremely rare in todays NBA and it shows how deep this team is. I really will be shocked if Miami finds a way to win this series. Lebron and D Wade may be superstars but the rest of the team are pedestrian and seem to stand around and wait for something to happen.

By the way, Taj Gibson had two of the best dunks of the year in one game.

scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
May 16, 2011 2:31 pm

fran, I agree. And the thing is Miami just do too many isolation plays. And their problem is that they can’t do pick and roll with guys other than Wade and James because they stink and can’t make a lot of open shots or making good decisions going to the basket. Last night we saw many times Lebron and Wade running a pick and roll with just the 2 of them and honestly, that’s what the Bulls want because you know where both of them are and they stay in the same area where they cannot stretch your defense. Right now, the Bulls are a better team and not to mention they have the MVP. So it’s not like they are only a good team like the old Pistons…. they have a superstar too. Yesterday was the first game in the playoffs where Miami didn’t look like they could compete. When they loss against us and against Boston everyone knew that Miami was still the better team. Yesterday, they were exposed and got reamed. We’ll see what happens next. I expect the next game to be much closer now that they have been knocked back down to earth. Still don’t expect them to win.

Casper
Casper
May 16, 2011 3:19 pm

btw…can anyone tell me why wade isn’t covering rose? i know they play different positions, but wouldn’t you have your better defender on their better offensive player? bibby and chalmers were just getting smoked by rose.

RealTalk777
RealTalk777
May 16, 2011 5:45 pm

Exactly, Scorp! Bulls are a better team overrall…
Rose is a true MVP…with the team he has, and what they have been able to accomplish – this is the reason why he is the MVP! He makes his teammates better! The size of the Bulls will be too difficult for Miami to match. Coaching is also a key to why the Bulls have an advantage.

If you put Wade on Rose, what is Wade gonna do stop him? No way! Wade may be able to slow him down, but at the same time he’ll slow down hisself offensive production have to stick on Rose…Heat are better off letting Bibby or Chalmers guard Rose and just give them help, rather than having Wade guard Rose…

scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
May 17, 2011 2:53 pm

Casper, they were rotating Wade on Rose throughout the game. But I don’t think they want him on Rose full time because Rose is too fast and he can draw a lot of fouls. I think they rather have a smaller quicker guard to stay in front of him and then rotate the defense to help when he drives. Not to mention Wade would get gassed and it will hurt his offensive game. Another thing is you put Wade on him, the will just run a pick and make the defenders switch. Since Chicago doesn’t play a lot of isolation like Miami, it’s much harder to just put 1 person on Rose all game.

paulman
paulman
May 17, 2011 3:18 pm

Bibby and Chalmers are no match for Rose, The Heat will have to put Wade on Rose to have any chance in the Series..

RealTalk777
RealTalk777
May 17, 2011 3:22 pm

Paulman, what are you talking about?

The Heat do not have a player that is a match for Rose in the Bulls offense…Do you notice how fast he is? do you notice how he has the ball in his hands a lot?…If you put Wade on Rose for the entire game you will hurt his offensive production…The Heat can not depend on Bosh to have the same type of game he had on Sunday…Therefore Wades scoring is vitally important…

RealTalk777
RealTalk777
May 17, 2011 3:23 pm

However you are probably right…Spoelstra will try to make a defensive adjustment and it will be the wrong adjustment to make…As I said, coaching will be a key in this series…Spoelstra is completely over matched by Tibodeou!

paulman
paulman
May 17, 2011 3:54 pm

I didn’t say it’s a winning match-up for the Heat, but Wade is their best perimeter defender based on his strength, but his lateral foot speed is not what it used to be, Bibby is too old, but can guard him from time to time and even CHalmers who has good foot speed,but lacks the strength to hold Rose at bay..
The Bottom line, the only chance the Heat have over the Bulls to win the Season is for the Heat to somehow hold Rose at bay or at least make him take a lot of touch shots and minimize his penetration..

scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
May 17, 2011 5:28 pm

I don’t doubt that they will attempt to put Wade on Rose full time. But I think they will hurt them as much as it hurts. For one, I don’t think he can guard him anyway. And the wear and tear he will encounter chasing Rose and getting banged into by the pick and rolls will surely take a huge toll on him physical. it reminds me of the Lakers trying to put Kobe on Chris Paul when he was abusing Derrick Fisher. That didn’t work because Paul was too fast and Kobe was getting banged around so they went back to letting Fisher guard him. They’ll try it. Afterall Jamal McGloire played so they’ll try what they can but it won’t work. This is a team. And even though Rose is the captain of the ship, he doesn’t need to score 35 per game for them to win.