Round 2 of the NBA playoffs gets under way Monday night as the defending champion Miami Heat (66-16) host the Chicago Bulls (45-37) on TNT.
The Heat come into Round 2 after a 4-game sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round. League MVP LeBron James is averaging 24.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game in the postseason. And he’s had plenty of help. With Dwyane Wade injured and missing Game 4 vs. the Bucks, Ray Allen is second in scoring for the postseason with 16.5 ppg.
The Bulls will roll into Miami after a 4-2 series win over the Brooklyn Nets. Already missing former league MVP Derrick Rose for the season, forward Loul Deng (illness) and Rose’s backup Kirk Hinrich (calf) also missed time against Brooklyn. Deng is ruled out for Game 1.
Key for the Bulls is capitalizing on their advantage in the post from players like Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, while keeping the Heat’s role players at bay. Chicago has seen players step up in the postseason. Currently, seven Bulls are averaging double-figure scoring in the playoffs, including Nate Robinson (17.0 ppg), Jimmy Butler (11.7), and Marco Belinelli (11.7)
The bottom line is, can a banged-up Bulls squad win 4 games against the Heat in 7 tries?
Game7Dads predicts: Heat in 5.