If LeBron James tried to make up for his lack of late-game production on Tuesday, it showed. LeBron busted out of the gate on Wednesday and dropped 20 points in the first half alone. LeBron probably took too many jumpers in this one and his propensity to settle was underlined by his free throw total. But it worked brilliantly on Wednesday.
Wade and LeBron can't do it alone. While LeBron was busy draining jumpers of every variety, Wade was relentlessly attacking the paint. There's not much more Wade could do offensively than what he compiled against the Bulls on Wednesday and he continued to rack up his blocks on the other end. His offense was essential in the fourth, but where was Bosh?
Yikes. The memories of his 1-for-18 game at the United Center last season came rushing back to the forefront. Bosh had little impact on the game and struggled to pierce the ironclad Chicago frontline. Yes, the Bulls' defense is swarming. No, it doesn't excuse his rotten outing. If Bosh even gives an average performance, the Heat pull this one out.
While it's mostly true that the Heat will only go as far as their big three take them, they might have taken that mantra to the extreme on Wednesday. Guess how many points players outside their big three scored in the first half? Two. I'll repeat that: two. As of late, the Heat have looked like the top-heavy Miami squad of yesteryear. Not a good sign.
No Derrick Rose. No Rip Hamilton. No problem. John Lucas III was simply sensational off the bench. Thanks to him and Jimmy Butler, the Bulls continue to thrive even with Derrick Rose sidelined and they now move to 8-3 on the season with the reigning MVP in street clothes. Credit the Bulls' reserves for rising up to the occasion; the roster is deeper than a well.