On Monday night, the Dallas Mavericks moved to within one step of the NBA Finals. In NBA betting action on Tuesday, the Miami Heat can do the same if they can make home court advantage pay off against the Chicago Bulls in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
It feels like we’ve seen this script somewhere before for the Bulls. Chicago just doesn’t have the ability to slam the door shut against Miami, and perhaps if it did, it would be up 3-0 in this series and already on its way to the NBA Finals instead of really facing a game that it might have to win to keep its season alive. Derrick Rose is really visibly frustrated right now, as he is drawing two defenders seemingly every single time that he touches the basketball, and he is having to give it up or take some ill advised shots. As a result, his shooting percentages have been dreadfully off in this series, especially in Game 3 when he shot just 8-of-19 from the floor and came up with just 20 points. The man that really had the big time game for the first time in the playoffs was Carlos Boozer, which was about the only good sign that Head Coach Tom Thibodeau had from that third game of this series. Boozer scored 26 points, drew a slew of fouls, and had 17 rebounds, seven of which came on the offense end of the court. Joakim Noah has to keep his cool in this one though, as one point, five boards, six assists, five fouls, and one anti-gay slur aren’t going to cut it to win this game.
Every time that we say that the Heat need another big time play from someone outside of the “Big Three,” those three stars keep stepping up and setting the bar higher and higher. Chris Bosh is almost the forgotten man of the three, but he was the one that really made the difference in Game 3, coming up with 34 points and five rebounds, and he is the man that is so responsible for taking Noah mentally out of this series. LeBron James had 22 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds, while Dwyane Wade had 17 points, nine boards, and three assists in spite of the fact that he only shot 6-of-17 from the floor. We knew that defense was going to be the key for the Bulls, but we didn’t know that it was going to be this important for the Heat. They held Chicago to just 41.6 percent shooting from the floor on Monday night, and if that keeps up, the Heat could be well on their way to their second NBA title.
Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat Pick: We’ve gone with the Bulls every step of the way in this series, and we aren’t backing off of the train at this point either. There is enough talent around Rose for this Chicago team to win even if the league’s MVP is getting double teamed every time out. Miami scored 95 points on Monday, marking the first time in five tries in which it was able to exceed the 90 point mark on the Bulls’ defense. Expect another ugly, low scoring game, but in the end, the Bulls +5 are the NBA pick to make in this clash.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.