The Miami Heat’s epic reversal of fortune has them looking at tomorrow night’s game in New Orleans as a must-win if there’s any hope of ending the losing streak that started with last night’s loss to the Chicago Bulls. LeBron James must lead his teammates out of the doldrums to regain the kind of winning ways that would have led to a seeringly hot 28-game winning streak but for the losing feel that comes from lowering one’s shoulder into poor little Carlos Boozer, who was minding his own business, just setting a pick up in the grassy knoll above the key, and – BAM! – LeBron comes along and trucks him. What the? That was wrong. There are rules, after all.
This junior varsity Bulls lineup – neither Rose nor Noah played – is a plucky bunch who completely frustrated the Heat. James dejectedly left the court with tears streaming down his face, though I suppose it could have been sweat because he had played with some ferosity; the defeat was so crushing that it was kinda difficult to tell. Hard not to sympathize with their plight; the Heat were just getting over their loss to the Pacers on February 1st and now this.
With the frustration of another loss you might expect some whining. Lebron obliged by noting that the Bulls were playing to win, which was not expected. James also thought the Bulls made one or two hard fouls that effected the game’s outcome to his detriment. (For perspective, Mr. James might look at the ring on his finger as the product of Dwayne Wade’s stunningly blatant foul on Rajon Rondo at a crucial moment in Game 2 of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, but I digress.)
The Bulls got solid play from across the roster with Nate Robinson providing 14 off the bench and Luol Deng leading the Bulls in scoring with 28 points. Miami’s biggest problem all year – if there’s one to be cited – is on the boards; The Bulls out-rebounded the Heat by 12, and Carlos Boozer contributed mightily with 17.
This was a phenomenal victory for the Bulls. It showed them what might be if they play out of their gourds. Add Rose and Noah and you’ve got the makings of a deep run in the playoffs. What’s to stop them at this level of play? Besides a seething, revenge-seeking, pissed-off, raging LeBron James, I mean. But no reason the Bulls should feel that James has it out for them, right? Right? But let’s dream for a moment. If Chicago can beat Miami in the conference playoffs, then what will ESPN do without their Bron-Bron binky? Delirium tremens.