The Heat dominated Game 4 on Monday at the United Center, holding the Bulls to 25.7 percent shooting in an 88-65 victory. LeBron James led the way with 27 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Chris Bosh added 14 points for Miami, who did not play all that well offensively but still won handily thanks to their defense.
The banged-up Bulls started the game 1-of-12 and were simply never able to get on track. Their 65 points and 25.7 percent shooting were franchise playoff-lows.
Here are three key questions heading into this possible elimination game.
Will the Heat deliver an early death blow?
When they do not feel like they are being challenged, the Heat often coast through games and get by on talent alone. This was evident at times in Game 4, as Miami let Chicago hang around for much of the game thanks to some sloppy play.
Back on their home floor with a chance to advance, the Heat could be out for blood. James has already promised that there will be no Game 6 in Chicago, so he and his teammates will look to get out to a quick start to squash any remaining flicker of hope the Bulls may have.
Are the Bulls out of gas?
The Bulls have battled injuries to key players all season long and into the playoffs, resulting in big minutes for those that have been able to get on the court. Nate Robinson has been forced into starter's minutes. Jimmy Butler has played all 48 minutes four times in the postseason. Marco Belinelli is playing 38.5 minutes per game in this series. Joakim Noah has racked up big minutes despite having plantar fasciitis. Because of this, the team appears to have worn down.
The woeful shooting in Game 4 bears this out, and if Chicago is unable to find the range, things could get ugly fast. In addition to shooting just 25.7 percent overall, the Bulls went just 2-of-17 from three-point land. That included some wide open looks, shots that must be knocked down in order for Chicago to stay in it. Of course, that's easier said then done if the legs aren't there.
Can Robinson find the magic again?
Robinson has had a mostly magical postseason, providing numerous highlights and helping the Bulls secure some clutch wins. But after scoring 27 points in a stunning Game 1 victory over the Heat, Robinson has struggled, culminating in a nightmarish 0-of-12 shooting performance in Game 4.
Robinson has missed some shots he was making earlier in the postseason, but the Heat have also made some adjustments. Because Robinson is so short, Miami has attacked him with aggressive traps on the pick-and-roll, forcing him to make quick, difficult decisions. He has not responded well, which has been a key to slowing the Bulls' offense. If Robinson can find a rhythm again, Chicago may have an outside shot at stealing another game.
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Odds: The Heat are 14-point favorites according to OddsShark.