By Jeremy Marks-Peltz
Will the Miami Heat be trying to control the Pace? Or will the Heat have to get over their various Knicks?
That is unclear until at least Saturday. But we do know the Heat's Eastern Conference Finals schedule, regardless of the opponent. Below is the ECF schedule, as set forth by the NBA. A reminder, catch every game on ESPN 106.3 FM/760 AM.
Note: Times are listed by when ESPN 106.3 coverage starts. All games have an 8:30 PM start time.
Game 1: Wednesday May 22 @ Miami 7:30 PM (30 Minutes of Heat)
Game 2: Friday May 24 @ Miami 7:30 PM (30 Minutes of Heat)
Game 3: Sunday May 26 @ Indiana or NY 8:00 PM
Game 4: Tuesday May 28 @ Indiana or NY 7:30 PM (30 Minutes of Heat)
Game 5: Thursday May 30 @ Miami 7:30 PM (30 Minutes of Heat)
Game 6: Saturday June 1 @ Indiana or NY 8:00 PM
Game 7: Monday June 3 @ Miami 7:30 PM (30 Minutes of Heat)
MIAMI - In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Miami Heat take care of business at home in an up-and-down game. They top the Bulls 94-91 to win the East Semifinals 4-1. Despite jumping out to a 22-4 start, Miami ended up trailing by as much as 11 in the third quarter before closing out with a 25-14 fourth quarter. On a night that he nearly sat out with a sore knee, Dwyane Wade gave the Heat the surge they needed, scoring 6 points, grabbing 3 rebounds and swatting a key shot in the final 5:38, finishing with 18 points and 6 assists. MVP LeBron James flirted with a triple double, scoring 23, dishing 8 assists and pulling down 7 boards. After the game, ESPN 106.3 FM was in the Heat locker room. Click the names below to hear what they had to say:
Things were looking good for the Bulls, who won the rebound and turnover differentials, until the end. Carlos Boozer led all players in points and rebounds with 26 and 14, respectively. Nate Robinson, fresh off of an 0-for-12 shooting performance, scored 21 behind 4 three-pointers. Wingman Jimmy Butler added 19 points and for the second time this series, and the fourth time in seven games, played all 48 minutes for the Bulls. Chicago was (as they have been all series) without forward Luol Deng as well as guards Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich. ESPN 106.3 FM was with the Chicago Bulls during postgame as well:
By Jeremy Marks-Peltz
1. Like I said all along, Dwyane Wade should give it a go. Or maybe, I was one of the thousands of the uninformed calling for Wade to rest, questioning his health. Maybe, once we will learn to stop questioning D-Wade. He burns us every single time. Tonight, WOW was the best player in a Heat uniform, going 3-3 with three rebounds in the final period. And vaulted the Heat into their third straight East finals.
2. But not before the Bulls gave the Heat 12 rounds, and then some on the canvas. Carlos Boozer (26 points, 14 rebounds) finally looked like an 80-million dollar man. Jimmy Butler is on his way to being a superstar. Good Nate Robinson showed up.
3. The Bulls controlled the second and third quarters so much that I thought the Heat coming back from an 11-point deficit was tougher than the Bulls recovering from 22-4 in the first quarter.
4. But there was the Heat, digging deep on defense, taking away the paint late. And it helped when the shooters (I’m looking at you Shane Battier) were making shots. It helped overcome a C+ night from LeBron James (5-14 from the field, not sharp all game).
5. The unsung hero of the series is Chris Bosh, for all the non-Bosh things he did this series. Such as average nearly nine rebounds, and over two blocks per game, plus outplay Joakim Noah.
6. I’m in the minority, but I’d prefer the Pacers over the Knicks. Indiana is the more physical, bruising team, but the Knicks could pull the shocker if Carmelo Anthony has the series of his life. I don’t think that will be on the table though.
5: Consecutive close-out game wins for the Heat (last loss came in the first round of 2012 vs. the Knicks)
2: Udonis Haslem’s rebounding total. It will need to be way higher against David West/Roy Hibbert. Haslem couldn’t buy a rebound tonight.
0: The number of minutes by Derrick Rose this series. Just felt like mentioning this once more.
From Greg (@gregi1063): “I guess we can both say that we are glad Wade played.” Yep!
By Jeremy Marks-Peltz
1. I can’t remember the last Heat playoff game I watched that seemed less of a playoff game than this. Zero energy by the Bulls, and even less by the fans, some of whom weren’t there by tipoff. Of course, LeBron James is a pretty good energy sucker.
2. I had James scoring at least 35 tonight in the ultimate middle finger performance. Pretty sure LeBron would have reached that, if needed. Instead, James coasted to 27 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, and aiding Nate Robinson and Carlos Boozer to a spectacular three for 26 shooting night.
3. It boggles my mind to how so many people seem eager to offer Chris Bosh in a trade. He’s the absolute perfect complement to LeBron: A big man who has had an unstoppable stroke the last two games. Do you really want to part ways with that for a more conventional low post scorer?
4. Around the three minute mark of the first quarter, I posed the question of whether you sit Dwyane Wade in Game five. I think it’s less of a question, and more of inevitability right now. Give D-Wade another week to rest if all goes well. As long as he promises to leave the Capri pants at home.
5. Sure, the Bulls have run out of gas. But Tom Thibodeau deserves some of the blame for this massacre. Teams take on the personality of their coaches, and Thibs playing the woe is me, we aren’t getting calls card did not translate well to his players tonight.
6. So Derrick, are you ready to play? Not like your team is facing elimination or anything.
.257/.118: The Bulls clank-eriffic percentages from the field, and from beyond the arc respectively.
11: The number of Heat players who scored in Game 4. Only two (James, Bosh) registered double digits.
0: Number of flagrant fouls, individual technicals, ejections, and Nate Robinson points.
From Evan Cohen (@EvcoRadio): Derrick Rose theme song written by @jtimberlake: “As long as I’ve got my suit and tie I’mma leave it all on the floor tonight.”
By Jeremy Marks-Peltz
1. The transformation of LeBron James continues. Tonight, a terrible first 45 minutes for King James. Shot was off, decision making poor, made several bad gambles defensively, even passes were off-target. But there was the MVP in the end to close it out in clutch fashion.
2. Fortunately for LeBron, it’s not 2010 anymore---he has a real supporting cast. Norris Cole (6-7 FG) has turned into a lethal shooting weapon. Chris Bosh scoring 20 points with 19 rebounds in a building that has been a house of horrors was perhaps the biggest surprise of the night.
3. Make this another postseason where Dwyane Wade is not even remotely healthy. Wade (5-7 FG, 10 points) picked his spots to be efficient. But half the time, he’s jogging back on defense, clearly favoring the surgically repaired knee.
4. One of the dumbest things I’ve ever said on a show: “The stripped down Bulls are one of the most likable teams in sports.” Yeah, that is if you enjoy seeing cheap shots, clapping in opponents faces, and Nazr Mohammed’s straight up goonery. Perfect night for the Joey Crawford show, too.
5. This was still a game to admire the Bulls effort and competitiveness, when they concentrated on playing basketball. It would have been very easy to just melt away after that 37 point loss.
6. It’s gotten to the point where either the Bulls are trying to send a message to Derrick Rose, or Derrick Rose is trying to send a message to the Bulls.
.641: Norris Cole’s shooting percentage this postseason. Perhaps Pat Riley can draft after all.
10: The foul disparity between the Bulls and Heat. Can’t wait until that gets bludgeoned to death for two days.
21: Carlos Boozer’s point total---not sure I remember any of them. Or anyone else will in Chicago.
From Joe Colella (@JoeC1063): “So, Cole is a long range sniper and Bosh is a rebounding machine? Got it.”
MIAMI - The Heat handed the Bulls their worst playoff loss in franchise history and evened the East semifinals at a game apiece thanks to a 115-78 thrashing Wednesday night at the American Airlines Arena. After the game, ESPN 106.3 was in the Heat locker room for reaction. Click the names below to hear what they had to say: