Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat Preview and Predictions -12-08-2019
The Miami Heat host the Chicago Bulls on Sunday evening in a matchup of two teams heading in different directions. Miami. Miami topped Washington 112-103 on Friday night for its fifth win in six games. The Heat are a perfect 9-0 at home with a 17.1 point margin of victory. Jimmy Butler notched his second triple-double of the week with a 28 point, 11 assists, 11 rebound outing on Friday. Butler’s first triple-double came against Toronto in a 121-110 overtime win.
Chicago is coming off a 100-98 loss to Golden State on Friday. The Bulls, who rank in the bottom third of the NBA in points scored, shot 44.3% from the field in the loss. Zach LaVine has been on a tear recently with 22 or more points in six of his last seven games. LaVine’s scoring streak began with a 49 point outing against Charlotte on November 23. Whether the Bulls can find solid production from the rest, may determine whether Chicago covers.
Bulls look to get back in win column
The Chicago Bulls saw a rare two-game win streak come to an end Friday with a tight loss to Golden State. In a consistent theme this year, Chicago’s supporting cast couldn’t contribute enough offense to match Zach LaVine’s team-high 22 points. Lauri Markkanen was another bright spot with his second 20 point outing in the last three games. The Bulls put out a depleted front court with Otto Porter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison both out with injuries. Thaddeus Young, who missed Friday’s game for personal issues, is expected to return Sunday.
Chicago’s offense rating is second to last in the league according to NBA’s advanced stats. After LaVine and Markkanen, the Bulls don’t have anyone they can rely on for 20 points or more on a regular basis. Rookie Coby White is playing better as of late with double digits in scoring in three of the last four games. Wendell Carter Jr. is a double-double threat with 12.3 points and 10 rebounds per game. Shooting guard Tomas Satoransky leads the team with 5.3 assists per game.
Butler pacing Heat to great start
The Miami Heat remained unbeaten at home with a convincing win over Washington on Friday night. Jimmy Butler is playing his best stretch of basketball since moving to South Beach with a pair of triple-doubles and a 37-point outing Wednesday night over his last three games. Butler hit 10 3-pointers in that span. Miami’s offense could take a hit Sunday as Bam Adebayo is listed as questionable with a groin contusion. Adebayo is coming off one of his highest-scoring outings of the year — 24 points against the Wizards. Adebayo also leads the team with 10.4 rebounds per game.
The Heat will also be without Goran Dragic as he too battles a groin injury. Dragic is Miami’s second-leading scorer and second top assist man behind Butler. Expect Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro to take on elevated roles in Dragic’s absence. The two rookies are combining to score nearly 30 ppg. Miami’s offense gets most of the attention but its defense is impressive as well. The Heat hold opponents to 105.5 ppg.
The Miami Heat are an American professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida. The Heat compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The Heat play their home games at American Airlines Arena, and have won three NBA championships.
The franchise began play in 1988 as an expansion team. After a period of mediocrity, the Heat would gain relevance during the 1990s following the appointment of former head coach Pat Riley in the role of team president. Riley would construct the high-profile trades of Alonzo Mourning in 1995, and of Tim Hardaway in 1996, which immediately propelled the team into playoff contention. Mourning and Hardaway would eventually lead the Heat to four division titles, prior to their departures in 2001 and 2002, respectively. As a result, the team struggled, and entered into a rebuild in time for the 2002–03 season.
Led by Dwyane Wade, and following a trade for former NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Shaquille O’Neal, Miami advanced to play in the NBA Finals in 2006, where they clinched their first championship, led by Riley as head coach. After the departure of O’Neal two years later, the team entered into another period of decline for the remainder of the 2000s. This saw the resignation of Riley as head coach, who returned to his position as team president, and was replaced by Erik Spoelstra.
In 2010, after creating significant cap space, the Heat partnered Wade with former league MVP LeBron James, and perennial NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, creating the “Big Three”. During their four-year spell together, and under the guise of Spoelstra, James, Wade, and Bosh, they would lead the Heat to the NBA Finals in every season, and won two back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. The trio would all depart by 2016, and the team entered another period of rebuilding. Wade was eventually reacquired in 2018, albeit to retire with the franchise.
The Heat hold the record for the NBA’s third-longest winning streak, 27 straight games, set during the 2012–13 season. Four Hall of Famers have played for Miami, while James has won the NBA MVP Award while playing for the team.