Miami Heat Chicago Bulls: Preview, analysis and predictions

The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls have been two of the giants of the Eastern Conference in recent seasons, and their matchups often provide hotly contested battles.

While the Bulls may not be considered a threat to make the playoffs until Derrick Rose returns from injury, the team’s incredibly strong defense always makes life difficult for the opponent.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will have their work cut out for them in this game.

Here’s everything you need to know about the meeting. Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois.
When: Thursday 21 February, 8pm.

For Miami, this matchup means continuing to build space between all the other teams in the Eastern Conference.

He will rely heavily on James to achieve this, and the superstar will look to create even more space between himself and the other players vying for the NBA MVP award.

At this point, it’s a pretty safe bet to bet that the Heat will have the best record in the East at the end of the regular season and that James will win his fourth MVP.

If all goes according to plan for Miami, the situation will not change.

The Bulls will continue to tread water until Rose returns. The team would be the fifth seed if the playoffs started today, and that’s an extremely favorable position since their best player thus far had to sit out the entire season.

But the main storyline that will overshadow both teams is the trade deadline, which will arrive a few hours before the announcement.

Although neither team has been heavily involved in trade talks, both teams could be looking at a very different Eastern Conference in the event of major changes.

Key matchup: LeBron James vs. Luol Deng

No one in the NBA can stop LeBron James, but Tom Thibodeau has the luxury of being one of the few guys with the defensive ability to bother at least the best player in basketball.

Deng’s size and discipline have made him an All-Star caliber defender, and he will be the first option to limit James’ impact on the game.

The reigning MVP is coming off a 24-point, 11-assist night against the Atlanta Hawks, and he failed to score 30 points for the first time in eight games.

His numbers have been downright scary lately, and it could be a long 48 minutes for the Bulls’ defensive ace.

James will attract a lot of attention. He is already the best player of his generation and is currently enjoying one of the most impressive periods of his career.

The main goal of the Bulls defense will be to get the ball out of James’ hands. But it will be a team effort and will give Wade plenty of room to operate.

If the star guard gets comfortable early, the Bulls will be in a lot of trouble.

This will force Chicago to perform a balancing act between giving Wade and James extra attention without overcommitting.

This is a dangerous play and if Wade forces the Bulls to play it, Miami would be in prime position to get another win.
Initial lineups expected


PG: Mario Chalmers

SG: Dwyane Wade

San Francisco: LeBron James

PF: Udonis Haslem

C: Chris Bosh


PG: Kirk Hinrich

SG: Richard Hamilton

San Francisco: Luol Deng

PF: Carlos Boozer

C: Joakim Noah


James will continue to get it done, even if his shooting percentage won’t be as ridiculous as he was for much of February.

Expect another double-double from him and a performance from Wade that will be good enough to push Miami to a 91-83 victory.

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