NBA Playoffs 2013, Bulls vs. Heat Game 1: Time, TV schedule, odds and more


The Heat open up their second-round series against the Bulls on Monday night in Miami. Dwyane Wade is expected to be back in the lineup, while Luol Deng is out and Kirk Hinrich is doubtful.

The Miami Heat will finally get back on the court after a long layoff when they host the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Monday night.

The long break following a sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks has allowed Dwyane Wade some extended recovery time after he missed Game 4 due to a bruised knee. Wade is expected to be ready to go for Monday night.

The Bulls are dealing with some injury issues after beating the Brooklyn Nets in seven games. Luol Deng will be out as he continues to battle an illness and Kirk Hinrich is doubtful with a calf bruise. As for Derrick Rose? He's still not ready, and likely won't be for the remainder of the postseason.

Chicago did beat Miami twice in the regular season, including a 101-97 victory on March 27 that ended the Heat's 27-game winning streak.

Here are three key questions heading into Monday's Game 1.

Can the Bulls limit LeBron James?

With Deng out of the lineup, it will be an even taller order to slow down the NBA MVP. Jimmy Butler will get the primary assignment, but it will require a monumental team effort to try and limit the damage that James does. James has had a lot of success against the physical Bulls' defense this year, averaging 28.0 points on 63.8 percent shooting in four games. Successfully stopping James could prove to be impossible, so the Bulls may live with him getting his and focus more on shutting down his teammates.

Can the Bulls dominate the glass?

In Chicago's two victories in the regular season, they dominated the backboards. On Jan. 4 in Miami, the Bulls outrebounded the Heat by 20 and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds in the process. In the streak-busting win, the Bulls won the rebounding battle by 12 despite not having Joakim Noah. In Miami's two wins, the rebounding margin was much closer. Not having Deng will hurt the Bulls on the glass, but Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson are still a formidable frontline that could pose some problems for Miami.

Will the Heat make hay at the free throw line?

The Heat, and especially James, have done a lot of damage at the free throw line against the Bulls this year. Miami held a 109-84 advantage in free throw attempts over the course of the four regular-season games. In the last of the four meetings on April 14, the Heat took a whopping 41 free throws in a 105-93 victory. James himself has taken 42 of those 109 free throws in the series, making 33 of them. Chicago will want to be physical with James and the Heat, but they must try and do it without fouling too much. If there's a parade to the free throw line, the Bulls won't have much of a chance.

Game time: 7 p.m. ET


Odds: The Heat are 11½-point favorites according to

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