Sports World Gears Up for Bulls-Heat Series

Jonathan Abrams: New York Times: “Regardless, of how the Heat and the Bulls got there, the Eastern Conference finals now hold as much intrigue as the just-concluded Heat-Celtics series had star quality.It is Wade against Rose, both raised in Chicago. It is James against Thibodeau’s defense, which foiled him in two of the last four postseasons when Thibodeau was an assistant with Boston. It is Boozer against Bosh, two of the premier free-agent power forwards. And it is Riley against the Bulls, his reincarnated nemesis, to whom he lost twice with Miami and twice with the Knicks, when Chicago was the home of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson.”

Patrick Michael: Yahoo Sports!: “I think the reason why most NBA fans like me agonize over the length of the regular season is because we can’t wait for the NBA Playoffs to start. The Chicago Bulls reached the Eastern Conference Finals after being challenged by the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. The Miami Heat were very impressive in crushing the New York Knicks and upsetting the Boston Celtics. Take a closer look at who will win the Eastern Conference Finals in the NBA Playoffs.”

Sean Sweeney:Dime Magazine: “With the Eastern Conference Finals set to kick off this weekend, there are almost too many subplots to dig into. There’s the battle between MVPs – the guy who won and the guy many thought should’ve won. There’s the battle of good vs. evil; Miami is the new generation, overhyped and overloaded with ego while the Bulls are from the old school. Neither city likes the other, and both couldn’t be more different. The series is shaping up to be a classic.”

Michael Wallace: ESPN.com: “Despite the presence of three of the league’s top stars in James, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose, the Heat and Bulls have most excelled at defensively making matters difficult on opponents. The Bulls rank first in in the league in defensive efficiency, while the Heat have been in the top five all season.”

NBA.com: “Keeping Rose in check, however, is the top priority for the Miami Heat – and is likely a prerequisite for beating the Chicago Bulls and reaching the NBA finals. Game 1 of the East title series is Sunday night in Chicago, the city Rose has led into its first NBA Final Four since Michael Jordan took them there 13 years ago.”

Pro Basketball Talk: Kurt Helin: “His point is scary for the league — when this transformation is complete Rose is going to be so much better player. A much better point guard, and his teammates will adjust and set themselves up in good spots (like they do around Nash). Rose will still score but he will be better at setting up teammates as well, more patient in finding the holes in the defense.”

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