The Heat wrapped up this series winning 4-1 against the Bulls. It was definitely exciting and we learned a lot about both teams. Let's take a look at what went down.
1) Derrick Rose needs help scoring the ball. Rose did pretty much all he could and ended up playing terribly in all of the 4th quarter games in this series. The Bulls will probably hate that they didn't acquire a 2 guard (Courtney Lee for Omer Asik) during the trade deadline and it will be harder for them to do that in the off season because they probably won't have the money to do it and if they make a trade they are going to have to give up a good piece (think Taj Gibson).
2) Is this Duke Central? Deng played well for the majority of this series. He is really a compliment to a superstar (Rose) and he can play on both ends. I am a little hesitant to say this but the Bulls have their Scottie Pippen clone. He's finally living up to his contract. Carlos Boozer disappointed this entire series. He put up numbers in some of the games but if this is what $75M gets you these days then we definitely need to re-evaluate the dollar. Boozer never put up numbers that mattered in this series (starting a run, or more importantly stopping a run) and he definitely showed his lack of desire to play defense. Maybe it was his toe, maybe he wasn't healthy but he couldn't even get off the floor and I'm not even expecting to see him like Amare, but some athleticism would be nice. Add in the two flagrant fouls, and this was a bad series for Boozer. Another year like this and they will be trying to find a way to ship him out of town.
3) I like Thibs but I think he got out coached by Pat Riley in this one (yes, Pat Riley). Why wasn't Kurt Thomas more of a piece in this rotation? Thomas should have gotten more minutes because he's a veteran, he can rebound, he can score, and if necessary can lay some wood on someone. He doesn't have the height that Asik has, but name someone on the Heat's front line (a big) than can rebound with the 38 year old.
4) What happens next year? CJ Watson had a chance to make this an opportunity for some money. I still think the best lineup for the Bulls against this Heat team was CJ (1), Rose (2), Deng (3), Gibson (4), and Noah (5). This team would have been small but they could run with the Heat and they can also hit shots. The issue with this lineup is that it doesn't work if CJ isn't hitting some of those shots.
1) Maybe just maybe LBJ can shed that 'can't close' label. He showed up when the Heat needed him and closed out these Bulls. 4 straight losses for a team that hadn't lost more than 3 in a row the entire season, that's something.
2) Chris Bosh, this is the guy that the Heat needed all year long. Bosh showed everyone (including Boozer) that if you think the Heat are the Big 2 and a pretty good 3rd, you will have some problems on your hands. Bosh had two 30 point games in this series and basically outplayed both Gibson and Boozer.
3) This may have been the worst that I have seen D Wade play. He really only played about 20 minutes of good basketball this entire series. Think about that. I'm not sure if he was hurt, or disinterested or what. All I know is that the Mavericks team that they will be playing in the Finals is going to require that he plays up a level or two or they won't be winning many games.
4) Mike Miller is finally coming alive. Looks like he and Bibby actually hit some shots in this series, right when they needed to. Miller is playing with two injured thumbs and is having problems with his shooting and Bibby's time was limited in this series because of the opponent (Rose), but with all of that said, if these guys show up and play, that makes the Heat that much harder to beat.
Thanks again to both teams for an exciting ECF, and good luck to the Heat in the Finals.
What was your take on the Eastern Conference Finals.