The Chicago Bulls routed the Miami Heat in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals series in large part due to an overwhelming rebounding advantage. One of the reasons that happened is that Miami, because of their lack of talent at the center position, tried to rely on small lineups to overcompensate. The Bulls stayed with traditional big lineups and made the Heat pay.
SB Nation's Bulls blog Blog a Bull notes this is an advantage the Bulls will always have.
Well, if the Bulls are to win, this is how it happens. As speculated, the Heat went conventionally unconventional with their smaller lineups ([Zydrunas] Ilgauskas and [Erick] Dampier weren't even active), forced to do so not as much as a strategy but in that there aren't many better options. In response, Thibodeau stayed with what's been working all season, and through having his Bulls stay big, they destroyed the Heat on the boards and completely suffocated the Heat's offense.
It also helps that Joakim Noah, Omer Asik and Taj Gibson are also mobile enough to make sure the Heat can't in turn exploit their quickness advantage. All three guys were tremendous in Game 1, and if they play at that level going forward, Miami has no chance.
Be sure to check out our Heat vs. Bulls hub for series previews, predictions and more. For more on the Bulls, visit Blog a Bull and SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier.