After the Chicago Bulls nailed the Miami Heat up with a 21-point win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, it seemed difficult to imagine the Heat stealing home court advantage with a Game 2; it seemed as if the Bulls were unbeatable at home, at least before Miami had time to "figure out" Chicago.
As it turns out, it took just 48 more minutes, as the Heat, led by a brilliant LeBron James, earned an 85-75 Game 2 victory. James outscored the Bulls himself in the final four plus minutes as Miami went on a 12-2 run to close the game. It wasn't so much that Miami needed to figure out the Bulls as just play better and take advantage of Chicago's start-and-stop offense.
Will that be the case in Game 3? The teams reconvene in South Beach on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, TNT) with the chance to move to a 2-1 lead. It seems as though this will be a tight, long series, and while the schedule has spaced the first few games apart, things will speed up and get more heated. Udonis Haslem caused havoc for the Bulls in Game 2, and Haslem creates havoc in a way that drives most mad. Expect the Bulls, or at least a Bull, to be driven mad (as in, angry) by Haslem's unique branding of bumping, clawing and fighting; familiarity breeds contempt.
While both teams are excellent defensively, we could use more offense in this series; Miami has finished in the mid-80s (roughly 100 offensive efficiency) in both games; Chicago had one second half breakout and one second half breakdown. We haven't seen the full power of Miami's offense, and while Chicago's is less spectacular in color it can be good again.