Although he doled out two big assists to Mario Chalmers in the closing minutes, LeBron failed to convert one-on-one against Joakim Noah with a chance to win the game on the final possession. On a positive note, he asserted himself as the most aggressive defender on the floor during the Heat's stifling first-half stands and was effective much of the day against some tough traps.
The Bulls did an impressive job denying Wade off the dribble and confining him to the perimeter, where he forced matters (racking up seven turnovers on the day). He also had to work hard as Derrick Rose's primary defender. Wade woke from his slumber in the fourth. He unleashed his acrobatics while attacking the rim but missed a potential game winner at the buzzer.
With James and Wade on the bench to start the second quarter, Bosh put on one of his finest offensive exhibitions of the season. He scored eight points in a little more than three minutes, including a gorgeous baseline drive for a reverse layup, forcing a Bulls timeout. When the game tightened down the stretch, Bosh was a peripheral figure, more likely to screen than shoot.
When the Heat review film of Sunday's loss, very few of the cringe moments will come from defensive footage. Miami did everything on the defensive side of the ball it failed to do on Friday night in San Antonio. It blitzed the Bulls on ball screens, rotated promptly from the baseline while still accounting for the shooters and stepped into passing lanes.
There are active defensive units and some physical ones, but at the center of the Venn diagram you'll find Tom Thibodeau's Bulls. Aside from a handful of transition buckets, foul shots and a few quick releases by Bosh, nothing came easy for the Heat. The Bulls still need to find simpler ways to score, but the defense will win them some big games this spring.