Bulls Feeling Heat As Playoffs Near

Miami and Chicago got incredibly physical on Thursday as the two teams prep to meet in playoffs.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

In the last regular season matchup between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat, it was obvious both teams were getting ready for the playoffs; and that means no more easy shots, hard fouls, and rough play.

The physical play reached a peak early with Joakim Noah being dropped to the floor by a James Jones forearm near the neck. This hit resulted in a flagrant-2 foul-call and Jones’ ejection. This swift judgment by the refs didn’t slow the physical style of play though.

Wade got into the action with a forearm shiver that knocked Richard Hamilton out of bounds. Wade received a flagrant-1 foul call. "We never go out with a goal and say we want to be more physical," Dwayne Wade said. "We have to be a physical team to win a championship because teams are going to try to say, 'Listen, we can be tougher than them.'

Not to be outdone, LeBron James also got physical with a spine-rattling pick on the Bulls’ John Lucas that both knocked him to the ground and thoroughly embarrassed him. This certainly isn’t the Hollywood Miami Heat Noah made comments about last season. This was a Heat team focused not only on the playoffs, but also on what it takes to win a championship.

Not to be lost in all the flagrant fouls and brutal picks is the fact that Miami won the game 83-72 with James going off for 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists.  

Chicago is currently 1.5 games ahead of Miami for first place in the Eastern Conference. Chicago has three games remaining, while Miami has four left on their schedule before the beginning of the playoffs.