United States: NBA Basketball Play Offs
Wednesday 15 May 2013 - Tip Off 7pm
Midnight (British Time)
After all the exertions put in by the Chicago Bulls in Game 3, it wasn't a massive surprise to see them fail to reach the same intensity in Game 4 as they were comfortably blown out by the Miami Heat. When you rely on so many players that are usually the back ups, it wasn't that surprising that those role players failed to get anything going as the Bulls had their worst shooting percentage and lowest Play Off totals in their storied franchise history.
Nate Robinson has been brilliant in the Play Offs for the Bulls, but it was his struggles that highlighted Chicago's struggles as he went 0/12 from the field. Relying on a short rotation has hurt the Bulls and they looked tired at times as Miami stepped up their defense in Game 4.
One thing you have to say about this Chicago team is that they have taken their fair share of blow out losses throughout the season, but shown the character to bounce back. Even at the end of Game 4, there weren't too many downhearted players in their locker room and they remain confident in themselves and one another.
However, turning around this series would probably be one of the biggest upsets in the Play Offs in NBA history, especially from a 1-3 deficit. To win three times in Miami, which Chicago would have to do to win this series now, is a big ask without the likes of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich.
Chicago also know that Miami are not exactly firing on all cylinders themselves so the Bulls do believe in themselves. Dwyane Wade is struggling with a knee injury that has limited his effectiveness, while LeBron James is shooting far poorer than he did in the regular season.
The Heat are also trying to get their three point shooters going in this series, as that is going to be important to them as they try and defend their NBA title.
Miami are also aware of the fight that Chicago have shown throughout the season so they are looking to close the show on Wednesday night. The team are still very focused on the task at hand and I think it would be a big surprise if the series heads back to Chicago later this week.
Head to Head
Miami have improved to 5-3 against the Chicago Bulls this season.
However, the Heat are only 2-2 in their 4 home games against them.
Chicago looked incredibly tired in Game 4 as the Miami Heat defense caused some issues, but the open shots being missed says it was more to with fatigue than anything else that the Bulls had a hard time.
While the last game was incredibly low-scoring, I think the layers have made the 181 total points a little too low in this one, especially if the open shots are made.