The last time the Bulls played the Heat, all of Chicago was seething with rage over the hated pricks of South Beach dieting on our boys. Luckily, we were able to celebrate a couple weeks later watching the Heat crumble in the finals to a team we loved because they weren’t the Heat. Get it? South Beach Diet?* Rage?** Crumble?*** Tomorrow, on the religious holiday known as “Week Before Superbowl Sunday”, they will face off once again.
There are differences between these two juggernauts. The Heat added Shane Battier, whose bumpy head was probably created by a Star Trek: Next Generation make-up artist. Battier brings toughness to the team and clutch play. The Bulls, of course, added much needed shooting guard Rip Hamilton. Unfortunately, Rip missed last night’s game and may not feature because of his on-going groin issues. (He must be carrying quite a package people.) Luol Deng probably won’t play for a couple more games, so that puts a big burden on Ronnie Brewer defensively.
The game has been downplayed by both teams, with the exception of the always insightful/inciteful Joakim Noah, who stated that he had this game circled on his calendar. Noah also circles the calendar for debut episodes of Puppies Versus Babies and minor lunar events, so who’s to say what that means. Nonetheless, expect Noah to take the court with chicken blood rubbed under his eyes as he leads the team in a hakka just before tip-off. The Ebanks predictor has Noah playing huge.
The Bulls need to start strong as the Heat don’t have the best mental fortitude when you get on ’em early. Most of the fans won’t be there ’til halfway through the first anyway, so let them arrive to their seats mildly annoyed that they gave up a perfectly good Sunday. The Bulls win the coaching match-up. Though Thibs leaves his starters in early, he gets the most out of the team, which is more than I can say for the Heat. Erik Spoelstra is a cautionary They Might be Giants song of a coach. “You can haaave most every toy, but that doesn’t always make you haaaapy!”
In the end, the Heat are a better team right now and should win. So they will lose. D Rose will go for a triple-double. Wade will play well and Bron Bron will have a monster first half, only to be guarded tightly by Deng’s arms from the bench. Boozer and Bosh will settle for jumpers and Brian Scalabrine will not take an important shot.
Ebanks prediction: Bulls 92 – Heat 89
Enjoy your Week Before Budbowl Sunday.
- *a diet that almost killed the bread bowl
- **Rage Against the Machine wrote the unofficial 90’s Bulls theme “Bulls on Parade”
- ***I loves me a good blueberry crumble