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Lebron James was once again King James in game 2 tonight against the stagnant Bulls whose defense kept them in the game but was no match at the end. His performance tonight was what Dwayne Wade envisioned when he recruited good friend James to join his depleted heat squad.
Dwayne Wade had a good night scoring 24 points on 16 shots, being very efficient against the best defensive team in the league this past regular season. More importantly his 9 rebounds showed the effort that they lacked in game 1 where they were out hustled on the boards by more than 12.
The Bulls played their usual tough defense that they have come to be known for but the hustle along with the energy seemed to have disappeared along with Derick Rose’s ability to get to the paint at will.
Rose went 7 for 23 along with 8 assist but his energy and determination was not there thanks to the Miami defense which decided to sow up today. Let’s not forget the Miami defense was statistically the 2nd best defense in the league so this performance was nothing new for them.
Lebron James is slowly but surely quieting his critics in crunch time, delivering timely buckets with high level difficulty and not just driving blindly to the paint often resulting in block shots or even turning the ball over. He poured in 29 points, 10 tough rebounds and 5 assist to Haslem and running mate Dwayne Wade.
Although Lebron was big in crunch time scoring 9 points to seal the victory, the true hero for Miami was Udonis Haslem. He has played only 9 minutes this whole post season and his 23 minutes this game provided the spark needed to win the game.
Miami has two future hall of famers, what they lacked the first game was energy and rebounding which Haslem provided.
Chicago has Joakim Noah who was everywhere during game 1, whether it was loose ball or rebounding or a tip in, he did everything but tonight was different. He was relatively quiet during the second half and Haslem assumed the role left vacant by the absent Noah.
If this game showed us anything, it is that this series will come down to offense… yes, offense. We all know that these two teams will play defense, that will not stop…with the exception being game one. It came down to who can execute better offensively with the game on the line and Miami has two guys who can do this on regular basis and Chris Bosh, who can do this as well when needed to.
Derick Rose will have to find a way to run this offense and not get frustrated by not being able to drive at will like he has done in the past. He will have to use his improved jump shot more often and maybe get his other teammates involved in the offense, mainly korver.
The Bulls bench is better and deeper than the Miami bench, so that is where they will have to win this series. Miami’s starters, well Lebron and Wade will have to dominate and somewhere down the line Bosh will have to come up big once again.
The formula is there for both teams, now let’s see who will execute and meet Dallas in the NBA Finals.