From The Loop

Trapped in the Loop, the views of one Chicagoan manage to escape.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat

The Bulls head into Miami for Saturday's game 1 of a 7 game series of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Each team is led by young players in Dwayne Wade and Ben Gordon. The Heat are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference posting another 50+ win season to finish second in the conference.

The Bulls are a very young team heading into their second consecutive playoff appearance after failing to post a winning record since 1997-98, the final year of the Michael, Scottie, Phil years. The Bulls' roster is filled with young players and new players to the franchise. First year players include Malik Allen(PF), Michael Sweetney(PF), and Luke Schenscher(C). The veteran Bulls player is Tyson Chandler in his fifth season. The rest of the roster is filled out with 2nd and 3rd year players such as Kirk Hinrich(PG), Ben Gordon(SG), Jannero Pargo(SG), Chris Duhon(PG), Eric Piatkowski(SF), Luol Deng(SF), Andres Nocioni(SF), and Othella Harrington(PF).

The Bulls finished their season winning 12 out of 14 games to reach .500, an amazing run considering they traded two starters from last year's 3rd best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Heat are a tough team for anyone in the league with Shaq roaming in the paint. However, the Bulls have matched up well with the Heat this season despite finishing 1-2 in 3 games. The last meeting the Bulls blew the Heat out in Miami. In the previous two meetings the games were decided by a total of 5 points. Dwayne Wade was held to well below his average statistical output by a Bulls team that led the league in FG% defense for the second consecutive season.

The series should be competitive. It will be decided by which team is able to draw the other into foul trouble and by which team is able to sink the big shots.

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