Heat has no chance against Bulls' second-chance points

It’s not the prettiest thing. But it might be the most important.

Rebounding.

As former championship coach Pat Riley once said, “No rebounds, no rings.’’ By the way, whatever happened to that Riley guy?

Anyway, Miami committed to going small. The Bulls committed going to the boards like always. The Heat hoped to beat the Bulls with speed and quickness in this Eastern Conference Final. But the Bulls have some speed and quickness themselves. What’s more, the Heat’s small lineup gave the Bulls’ bigs the chance to dominate the boards.

And the Bulls pounded them, getting a ton of second-chance -- and sometimes third-chance -- opportunities, as big a reason as any for their 103-83 rout of the Heat in Game 1.

After the Bulls’ decisive 10-0 run in the middle of the third quarter, they had a 31-23 rebounding advantage, a stunning 15-6 lead on the offensive boards. The Bulls out-rebounded them 45-33, 19-6 on the offensive boards. Jeez, Joakim Noah out-rebounded the Heat himself by two on the offensive glass. All that effort resulted in a difference of 23 second-chance points for the Bulls.

One reason the Bulls had so many chances at rebounds was the smothering team defense on Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, who combined to miss 20 of 32 shots. Wade missed 10 of 17 shots, looking dogged trying to stay with Derrick Rose on the offensive end. It got so bad that Wade stepped out of bounds with nobody around him as he tried to gather a loose ball. James, meanwhile, missed 10 of 15, looking like he left his talents in South Beach.

So, the Big 3 was reduced to the Big 1. Chris Bosh, the last guy in that conversation, went off for 30 on 12-for-18 shooting. But hey, the Bulls will take that deal the rest of the series. I mean, it would be like playing the Raptors.

Even better, when the Heat went looking for help, the Bulls’ bench killed them. Just killed them. Everybody knew the Bulls had a massive depth advantage, but this massive? Led by Taj Gibson and Ronnie Brewer, the Bulls’ subs ripped off 28 points, 8 assists and 14 rebounds, while Miami’s placeholders managed just 15 points, 0 assists, and 4 turnovers.

Everywhere you looked, the Bulls came up big, even Carlos Boozer with 14 points and 9 rebounds. And the rebounds were the key, from Boozer and everybody else. The Bulls’ season-long devotion to the boards forced the Heat to adjust its lineup before the series started. Now they will force the Heat to adjust again. But good luck if your playoff depends on Udonis Haslem and Jamal Magloire.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
    Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge

    An argument over a woman led to one man being killed and another wounded during a shooting inside a South Loop music lounge early Saturday, police said.

  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.

Comments
Loading