Heat Demolish Bulls to Even Series

On Tuesday, the question was whether the Miami Heat would beat the Chicago Bulls. On Wednesday, it changed back to whether the Heat would beat the 1996 Chicago Bulls, whose guard-turned-TNT-announcer Steve Kerr actually complained about the refereeing with the Bulls behind by 41 points. The Heat's average playoff score is now a 99-85 win, three points better than the 98-87 margin averaged in the playoffs by the 1996 Bulls team that went 72-10 during the season.

In all sports, point differential is one of the best predictors of future wins and losses. Teams like this year's Bulls who have winning records despite being outscored (won five of nine playoff games by being outscored 95-100) almost always begin to lose more games. 

Bulls Opponents Playoffs Heat Opponents
89 106 Gm1 100 87
90 82 Gm2 98 86
79 76 Gm3 104 91
142 134 Gm4 88 77
91 110 Gm5 86 93
92 95 Gm6 115 78
99 93 Gm7    
93 86 Gm8    
78 115 Gm9    
95 100 Ave. 99 85

After stunning Miami in Game 1, the Bulls Nate Robinson and then the Heats Dwyane Wade were both knocked to the ground hard in the opening moments, and the series took a nasty edge. The Bulls stayed close for almost 20 minutes, but Norris Cole eventually hit a three-pointers on Nate Robinson to give the Heat a double digit lead (52-41), which started a 55-17 run during which two Bulls were ejected.

Toward the end of the run, Chris Anderson rejected a Bulls shot with the Heat up 91-56. As players tussled and argued, Joakim Noah was ejected, and Taj Gibson joined him after drawing two technicals and apparently cursing on his way out. Kerr joined the critism from his TNT microphone, saying "I don't blame Gibson."

Allen, one of the greatest free throw shooters in the history of the NBA, then sank four consecutive free throws to make it 97-56. The Bulls got back within 40, but two free throws by Anderson, a lay-up by Cole, and then a layup and another free throw by energy man Anderson made it 104-58 with 8:27 to play.

The stars were able to rest up as the Bulls tightened the final slighly to 115-76, but with another blow out win, the Heat is once again looking as hard to beat as the Bulls.  The following is a list of the Bulls playoff games in 1996, which included three losses.

For more from the AP, click here.

Bulls 1996 Score Opponents
Miami Heat 112 91
Miami Heat 106 75
Miami Heat 112 91
New York Knicks 91 84
New York Knicks 91 80
New York Knicks 99 102
New York Knicks 94 91
New York Knicks 94 81
Orlando Magic 121 83
Orlando Magic 93 88
Orlando Magic 86 67
Orlando Magic 106 101
Seattle Supersonics 107 90
Seattle Supersonics 92 88
Seattle Supersonics 108 86
Seattle Supersonics 86 107
Seattle Supersonics 78 89
Seattle Supersonics 87 75
Average 98 87

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