Let’s lock the X’s and O’s geeks in the basement before the Eastern Conference finals turn into a seminar about the evolution of the dive cut.
This series isn’t going to come down to strategy. This isn’t a chess match. If it is, the Bulls are in huge trouble because the Miami Heat has two all-powerful queens. Maybe I should drop the chess metaphor right now.
The Bulls have to slow LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who can move anywhere they want on the board, and no amount of film study by coach Tom Thibodeau and his bloodshot eyes is going to solve that.
The only thing that will slow the pair down is hard work, which has been the hallmark of these Bulls all season. Luol Deng and Keith Bogans wear basketball jerseys, but they’re going to have to roll up their sleeves. There is no secret plan, no magic potion, no revelation expected to arrive before Game 1 today. Everybody knows what everybody else is going to do.
This is going to come down to whether Deng can limit James and whether Bogans can limit Wade, with help on both fronts from an array of similarly energized teammates.
It’s going to come down to effort and — sorry, Bulls fans — luck.
It’s going to come down to whether James can make the outside jumper the way he did against the Boston Celtics. If he can, the Bulls will be in a world of trouble in this series. If he can’t, the Bulls will have a chance.
Turning it up when it counts
I know, ‘‘having a chance’’ isn’t the concept that comes to mind in most discussions about a No. 1 seed. But the Bulls’ top seed should come with an asterisk. That asterisk would say something like, ‘‘Yes, but the Heat started playing its best basketball in the playoffs.’’
It’s so very easy to dislike the Heat. Two superstars and whatever Chris Bosh is supposed to be engineered a merger in Miami. James’ prime-time ‘‘The Decision’’ and his ‘‘taking my talents’’ announcement set off a nation