The Chicago Bulls looked like they were going to be underdogs in their home arena on Wednesday night. The Miami Heat won the first meeting between these two teams this season, and they did it with Derrick Rose having a spectacular game. Rose is out of this one with a groin injury, but the Bulls' bench is making up for it.
It's been a rough game for C.J. Watson, who is 0-of-3 from the floor, but John Lucas and the rest of the Chicago bench has been stunning. They have 31 points as a unit and Lucas is 4-for-4 from the floor, good for 11 points. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are producing, but they haven't had much help thus far, and that's why the Bulls are up 53-42 at halftime.
Joakim Noah is having a big game, even if his stats don't indicate anything spectacular. Or perhaps it just feels that way because he did this:
James led all scorers with 20 first-half points, but he didn't end the second quarter on a positive note. Lucas drew an offensive foul on James during a fast break with just over one minute left in the half, and Erik Spoelstra was called for a technical foul for expressing his displeasure to the referees. Wade has chipped in with 13 points of his own.
Chris Bosh is 2-9, but he's not the problem. The other six members of the Heat who have played have one point between them.
There have been some absolutely huge dunks in this game, and Derrick Rose has been incredibly amused with his teammates' play. Perhaps he should watch his language, though.
Bulls great Scottie Pippen is also in the building, and he's joined the raucous crowd by jumping and cheering like the average Joes around him. The Madhouse on Madison is living up to its name, and the Heat look like they're letting the noise get the better of them. Someone not named James or Wade is going to have to start hitting shots to silence the crowd.