By Brandon Robinson, WARR Contributor
With much rest, having not played in a week now, the Miami Heat waited while the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls wore each other in their seven-game first round series.
A sweep for Miami against the eighth-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in round 1 was to be expected. Could the same be said as the defending champs once again run into the Bulls, the constantly injured and ill Bulls.
Miami and Chicago split their regular season matchup 2-2, LeBron James led all scorers in their matchups with an average of 28 points per game, a shade over the 26.8 average that fueled his fourth MVP campaign, which became official over the weekend.
The most memorable game between these two this season left a sour taste in the Heat’s mouths when the Bulls’ put together a 101-97 victory on March 27 in Chicago, snapping Miami’s 27-game winning streak.
Health is a glaring hole in Chicago’s depth chart with Luol Deng sidelined for games 6 and 7 against the Nets. Kirk Hinrich has been in and out of the lineup with his calf injury and Taj Gibson and Nate Robinson have battled the flu.
The million and one dollar question for the Bulls remains — will Derrick Rose’s long awaited return to the court from his left ACL surgery and recovery finally occur this series with the spotlight as bright as ever on this Bulls team?
It shouldn’t be forgotten that health is also a concern for the Heat. Miami played without Dwyane Wade in game 4 of the Bucks series with knee trouble, that’s something the Heat would rather not deal with against the rough and tumble Bulls .
The Bottom Line
Miami is most skilled at shooting guard, with Chicago native Wade, and at the small forward position with James. Depth at the power forward and center positions are the Bulls’ biggest strength in this series. The Bulls have to be seen as a viable threat to the Heat and may be the biggest hurdle for Miami to repeat as NBA Champions.
Prediction: Heat win in six games and Derrick Rose returns in Game 3 of the series.
Chicago Bulls/Miami Heat Upcoming Schedule
Monday: Bulls at Heat — 6PM CT
Wednesday, May 8: Bulls at Heat — 6PM CT
Friday, May 10: Heat at Bulls — 7PM CT
Brandon Robinson began his journalism career at 12 years old with the NBA’s Nets Basketball, hosting the kids radio show, Nets Slammin’ Planet on New York radio with Nets legend Albert King and Lynn Wilson. His show was featured on NBA Inside Stuff with Ahmad Rashad, Hoop Magazine, MSG Network and Fox Sports Network. He has interviewed everyone from U.S. governors, athletes and television personalities, earning the nickname “Scoop B.” He covered the Nets inaugural season in Brooklyn for BrooklynFans.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScoopB.