In: NBA Free Picks24 May 2011
The Miami Heat have won seven straight home games in the playoffs this year and unless the Bulls can figure out how to get Derrick Rose free, or get the guys around him to produce, the Heat will likely win their eighth tonight.
Last time out, the Heat took out the Bulls 96-85 with a strong 28-20 fourth-quarter effort. The difference in the game came with the Heat’s 9-0 run late in the fourth quarter that was spurred on by Chris Bosh’s big day in the spotlight.
Bosh scored 34 points in Game 3, and has risen to be the highest-scoring player in the 2011 playoffs.
The Bulls’ Rose scored only 20 points, and had trouble breaking free of the double-team effort the Heat laid on him for most of the game. Carlos Boozer stepped u p to lead the Bulls in scoring for Game 3. Boozer scored 26 points, but 10 of those came from free throws.
The Bulls may have finished the regular season with one of the best defenses in the NBA, but in the playoffs against the Heat, it’s been Miami who has been smothering their opponents’ offense.
The Bulls are in the position of having to beat the unbeaten-at-home-in-the-playoffs Heat in Miami at least once, if Rose doesn’t want to experience the misfortune of being named league MVP – only to be bumped out like last year’s MVP, LeBron James, did two years in a row.
With Bosh on a run, LeBron more than capable of having a big game every time he takes the court, and Dwyane Wade solidifying the offensive effort, the Heat certainly seem to now have the series advantage.
Tonight, the Heat will likely move the series to 3-1 to send it back to Chicago for Game 5.
The Heat are giving up -5 to the Bulls in this one, but the Heat have me convinced they can impose their will on the Bulls when they visit Miami. Even when one looks at the spread, this one should swing the Heat’s way.
Pick: Take the Miami Heat (-5)