Well, well, well… After much anticipation, it is finally time to meet the almighty Miami Heat. Bulls fans realize that Miami’s world champion hats have already been embroidered and their t-shirts printed. The champagne is on ice and the blogs drafted. We are just playing the games as a formality since most of the NBA community has decided that the Chicago Bulls are playing for second best. Or are they? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see since the outcome of games that haven’t been played yet are indeed the only thing standing in the way of reality and the media’s narrative.
Seriously, the bias towards the Miami Heat has bordered on disrespectful at this point. Their highlight reel segments on ESPN and NBA TV are close to 15 minutes and I’m not exaggerating. I know that high-flying, rim rocking style of play as well as the superstar ilk of Wade and James is popular, sells tickets and is appreciated by those who cover the NBA, but the fawning does seem to come at the expense of other teams that are working just as hard. Throw in the “LeBron frontrunner for MVP” wrinkle (he is having a great season and is putting up MONSTER numbers), its enough to make a Bulls fan almost lose hope. Almost.
Tough to preview the game without knowing if Rip will go, but to know that one of the only reasons he was brought to the Bulls was to have postseason success, how lame would it be if he has to sit out the first meeting between Chicago and Miami? Pretty lame. I’m going to assume he WON’T be joining the Bulls for this outing so I can be happy if he is activated…
The bench play has typically favored the Bulls, but the roster is so injury-depleted now that we’ve potentially got two bench players starting the game. Miami has also been getting great production from Haslem, rookie sensation Norris Cole, Miller, Jones and Battier. Bench advantage: Miami Heat
Can’t wait for the game. I’ll be in game tweeting from @ChiTwnBullsBlog. We should get comfortable, being uncomfortable Bulls fans because I’m predicting that this one is not decided until the 4th quarter…