(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (2) Miami Heat
- Season Series: 3-0 Chicago
- First Game: Sunday 8 pm
- Series Odds: Miami -200
Breakdown: Although the Bulls swept the regular season series, I’m not as sold on them this time around like the rest of the world seems to be. What concerns me is the support for Derrick Rose and whether or not he can sustain his Kemba Walker-esque run of demanding play. Every game these two teams played was hard-fought and I don’t expect that to change, and no player has more weight on their shoulders than Rose. Having 25+ shots come from your point guard each game is pretty tough and could lead to a few costly, fatigue-related turnovers late in the game like we saw in Game 4 versus the Hawks. The Bulls are deeper than the Heat but not in the sense that the MVP could play the background for a period of time while another player takes over, a la Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
X-Factor: Kyle Korver
You could argue that Carlos Boozer is the guy that can really help Chicago’s chances, and you’d be right. With the way he’s been playing, it’s understandable. I held off on picking him, though, simply because Taj Gibson is there acting as a security blanket when Boozer goes M.I.A. That said, I think Korver is the real difference-maker. He’s the Bulls’ top perimeter threat and didn’t play as well against Atlanta as he did in Round 1 against the Pacers.