There is a very singular reason the Miami HEAT lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Chicago Bulls, 103-82. It wasn’t because their offensive lost a personal war of attrition or a magnificent, full-game defensive performance from the Bulls. It wasn’t because Miami lost the bench scoring battle, 28-15, or because of Derrick Rose’s 28 points and six assists or even Luol Deng playing as good of defense as Joel Anthony played in the first two rounds of the postseason. The HEAT lost because they were dismantled on the boards. The series will amount to a tug-of-war for tempo, and the series opener was more of a half-court affair, which was precisely how the Bulls planned it. Heat top guns Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were limited to 18 and 12 points, respectively, and with open-court chances at a premium, neither was able to impose his will on the game. In fact, it was easy to forget that they were on the court at times. See pics from Game One, after the break.
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