With Rose Back in the Line Up, Healthy Bulls is Our NBA Pick vs. Heat

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, April 9, 2015 3:21 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 9, 2015 3:21 PM GMT

Our expert handicapper takes a look at tonight's game between Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat. Follow up on this matchup preview to find out where the value truly lies for tonight's NBA picks.

Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat (P) 8:05 ET TNT TV
The Chicago Bulls travel to Miami to face the Heat in an 8:05 ET game as televised by TNT. The Bulls come off an embarrassing loss to also ran Orlando last night (105-103) after being the favorites on the NBA odds. Miami has had 2 days to prepare following a home win over Charlotte (105-100).  These teams both suit up tonight with post-season motivation.  Miami is locked in a 4 team race with Boston, Brooklyn and Indiana for the 7th and 8th playoff spots in the Eastern Conference race. Currently, Miami and Indiana trail Boston and Brooklyn by 1 game.  After the loss by Chicago last night, they are now tied with Toronto for the 3rd spot in the East. Each of these teams has a narrow 1 game advantage over the Washington Wizards. A negative finish by the Bulls could result in the fact they will lose home court advantage in the 1st Round. These teams have played twice already this season with Miami winning in Chicago by a score of (96-84) and Chicago winning on this court (93-75). Each of these teams has suffered multiple injuries this year as they enter the final week of the season with post-season hopes. 

 

Prior to that Miami victory over Charlotte on Tuesday, Miami was on a 0-4 SU slide, including a trio of double digit losses to the 3 potential playoff teams they faced. That includes a loss of 14 to the Spurs on this court, as well as 26 at Cleveland and 23 at Indiana. Miami is a modest 19-19 SU on this court this season, a long way from the 80% home court record of previous championship seasons! The Heat has been plagued by numerous injuries this year. For this contest, Bosh and Napier are out for the season.  But, key players, Wade, Deng, Whiteside, Beasley and Chalmers are all battling through various injuries or illness. One year after playing in the NBA Finals with LeBron James at the helm, this Miami team is a shadow of its former self.    

 

Derrick Rose returned last night for Chicago after missing the 2nd half of the season, since February 23rd, with yet another knee injury. His performance was modest at best over a span of 19 minutes. In that time, Rose scored 9 points with 2 assists but committed 4 TOs. Six of his 9 shot attempts were from beyond the arc, indicating his unwillingness to drive to the basket. He is expected to play again tonight in what will surely be an improved performance.  In the meantime, the Bulls still have the solid coaching of Thibodaux and the veteran play of Noah and Gasol upfront.  Certainly, perimeter force, Butler, profits from the presence of Rose in the lineup.  

 

With each team having motivation for this game, we will favor a healthier Chicago team with our NBA picks, who should greatly profit from the presence of Rose in the lineup on consecutive nights.

NBA Pick: Bulls at 5Dimes

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