The NBA season is finally here, and what better way to tip off the season than one of the game’s best rivalries, the Bulls and Heat. Chicago has to come into Miami on opening night and watch them raise their championship banner, but the Bulls will be re-armed with their floor general on Tuesday, Derrick Rose.
The Bulls and Rose have been playing well throughout the preseason, so will that translate into a win and/or cover for the Bulls here? The NBA Odds have Chicago as a +5 underdog here, with a total of 187.5 points. Let’s take some time on the day before the game to preview this marquee matchup.
Rose and the Bulls have been tearing up the preseason, as they finished it off with an undefeated record, 8-0 SU. Rose has looked amazing, and dare I say, better than when he got hurt all that time ago. Rose averaged 18 points per game this preseason in less than 24 minutes per game on average, and if he is back to his MVP-self, the Bulls are going to be serious contenders (maybe the only east contenders) to knock off Miami in this game, and possibly in the playoffs.
This season things should be different for Rose when playing the Heat, and I think we will see a glimpse of that on Tuesday. Normally when Rose is killing the Heat, they slide Lebron James onto him and all is well for Miami. However this season, they aren’t going to be able to do that as well with the mismatch that Jimmy Butler and the rest of the shooters for Chicago will bring. Chicago can now just as easily create mismatches against the Heat. Miami has been beating the Bulls for three years by creating mismatches, and now the Bulls have that same advantage.
When the Miami Heat shift Lebron onto Rose, it means that they have to be in their small lineup. This already gives the Bulls an advantage, but this season Chicago has more outside shooting than they’ve ever had with Rose on the floor. Mike Dunleavy, Luol Deng, Butler and Hinrich call all stroke the three ball with consistency, and cross matching onto Rose is going to leave some of these guys wide open in Miami on Tuesday night, and in the future.
The big question for this season for Miami is “will Dwyane Wade’s knees hold up throughout the entire season?” It don’t think it will happen tonight, but Wade might not see much more than 32 minutes per game this season. Miami is very deep on the wing, and even with the loss of Mike Miller this offseason, the Heat will still be able to put pressure on the Bulls with their bench on the floor.
The Heat were 2-2 SU against the Bulls in the regular season last year without Rose, and of course beat them in five games in the playoffs. However Chicago was without Joakim Noah, Deng and Rose in that series, and the Heat beat them four games in a row after the Bulls won Game 1.
However for Tuesday’s opener, I have to lean towards Chicago with my sports picks. As they are constructed, they are as deep as the Heat, and after another championship offseason, I don’t think Miami is going to come out very strong in this opener.Make sure you check back tomorrow for our official NBA Picks on this and the other two games helping to tip off the NBA season.