Derrick Rose and the Bulls get manhandled in Miami

Rose rusty in return as the Heat dominate the Bulls

10/30/13 in NBA   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

Oct 29, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (right) looks over at center Joakim Noah (left) before being introduced against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsThe Bulls and Heat squared off in Round 1 of what a lot of people (including me) project to be this season's Eastern Conference Finals.

Derrick Rose, after a very encouraging preseason, played in his first game regular-season game since April 2012. Rose looked very flat, especially his jump shot. Rose finished 4-15 from the floor with just 12 points, 4 assists and 5 turnovers. The Heat defense played a part in making Rose very uncomfortable with their ball pressure, that overwhelmed the former MVP and the entire team. 

The Bulls led early in this game, mainly due to the Heat's inability to buy a bucket. The Bulls missed out on multiple opportunities to put Miami in a deeper hole. Once the Heat found their range, the Bulls had no answers as the Heat would go on a 31-5 run and led 54-33 at the half.

Miami attacked the Bulls with great ball movement that resulted in far too many good looks from beyond the arc, that I'm certain infuriated head coach Tom Thibodeau. Miami finished 11-20 from downtown. 

The Heat received great bench contribution from Shane Battier, Norris Cole and Ray Allen; they combined for 36 points and shot 8-13 from three point range.

Oct 29, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) reacts  during the second half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Miami won 107-95. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsWhile it's easy to credit the Miami defense for disrupting the flow of the Bulls offense, the Bulls were careless with the ball and had 18 turnovers in the game. It was a performance the Bulls will want to forget. And it's that easy--it was only one game of an 82-game schedule.

Joakim Noah did start after it being reported that he was likely to miss the season opener with a groin injury. While he was out there and did record 11 rebounds, he didn't seem like himself in just 20 minutes of action. The biggest fear with a groin injury is returning too soon; something to definitely monitor going forward.

The two bright spots for Chicago was Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler. Boozer prevented the game from becoming a complete embarrassment for the first three quarters. Boozer was 13-18 from the floor and had a game-high 31 points. And after getting into early foul trouble that landed him on the bench for a good portion of the first half, Jimmy Butler exploded in the second half to finish with 20 points.

The Bulls trailed by as many as 25 in the third quarter, but as they say, everyone makes a run in the NBA. By the way, that isn't true. There are blow outs from start to finish. It always aggravates me when people say that you only need to watch the last five minutes of an NBA game.

I digress.

The Bulls cut the Heat lead to eight with 2:46 left in the game. However, Miami regrouped and hit key shots to stave off the comeback.

LeBron James finished with a rather pedestrian 17 points, yet managed to put his stamp on the game when things got interesting.

For two teams who loathe one another, it was a well behaved game, as neither team picked up a flagrant foul. 

Just a few observations on the Bulls: Newly acquired Mike Dunleavy looked like a fish out of water in this game. He did play well in the 4th, but for three quarters he was missing in action.

The Bulls brought him in to provide a perimeter threat for when Rose drives and kicks. I hate to label all Duke players as soft (How funny is it that I hate Duke but am forced to root for three of them?), I just feel Dunleavy didn't look like he wanted any part of the physical play, and was late on several defensive rotations. Again, game 1 of 82, so we shall see.

Luol Deng was also in early foul and never seemed to get going offensively, finishing with a robust 4 points. Beating a dead horse alert: I know LeBron James is one of the best defenders in the league; it just bothers me when I watch Deng with zero aggression, not even looking for his shot. 

The Bulls have dominated the Heat in the regular season the last several years. Perhaps if the Heat dominate this regular season, the Bulls may have better success against the Heat in the postseason. Just a theory. 

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