I've been neglecting this blog for a long time now (partly because I see no evidence that anyone is reading it). Long enough to not comment on the Bulls' playoff run up until now.
The Bulls had trouble with the Pacers. Oh, they put them away in 5 games, but all but maybe one of those games were hard fought battles where Rose simply took over at the end and willed the Bulls to victory.
Similar situation with the Hawks. Took them 6 games, I believe, to put the Hawks away, and again, in all but maybe 2, the contests were hard fought and close. I blamed it on matchup problems. I felt that the Pacers, with their length, and the Hawks, with their physical frontcourt and their good defensive guards, presented problems for the Bulls up front and for their shooters. I thought that, come Miami, they would be able to win those matchups. I thought the Bulls would be stronger than the Heat at center and fairly even at power forward. And I thought their shooters, especially Korver, would be able to can some jumpers.
Instead, the Heat's future Hall of Famers have been running over the Bulls in games 2and 3. And Korver and others have been unable to hit the jump shots, whether they be open or contested. And the Bulls are NOT dominating up front. Not at all. After game 1, the Bulls have not played well. Miami has a great defense, to be certain. And it looks to me like the refs are giving the Heat an assist with the way they're calling the game. They're taking away Rose's (and Wade's) ability to drive and get fouled or get to the rim. In the Heat's case, this doesn't affect them so much. They still have Lebron doing his thing, and they have Bosh being a huge factor. And Haslem has come in and given them quality minutes off the bench, negating some of the Bulls' supposed advantage in that department. The refs are also allowing Miami to pack the lane and haven't called a single defensive 3 seconds on them, far as I've noticed, this series.
I think the Bulls could still pull out this series, but game 4 has become a must-win for them. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that they can do it...