Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat
Tip-off: Friday, January 4, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
The Miami Heat have had some difficult games lately with NBA games against the Chicago Bulls being very tough regardless of whether Derrick Rose plays. YouWager experts consider that tonight’s game is bound to be particularly difficult if LeBron James isn’t at full strength.
The Bulls edged Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, but Rose’s torn ACL in the playoffs led to Chicago’s first-round departure while James went on to capture his first league title.
It’s likely that both stars miss the teams’ first meeting of the season, with multiple reports indicating James sat out yesterday’s practice with a bruised right knee but hopes to play this evening.
While the 28 year-old James has played in every game this season, Miami is 2-5 without him since the reigning MVP joined the team in 2010-11. Two of those defeats came against Chicago, a team that has won five of the last seven regular-season meetings. Five of those basketball games were decided by four points or less and another went to overtime.
Even when Rose missed two games due to injuries and finished with two points on 1-of-13 shooting in another, Chicago was able to earn a split of the four games versus the Heat last season.
Online sorts betting experts believe that the Bulls (17-13) might be catching Miami at the right time tonight. The Heat (22-8) have had to face difficulties ever since winning six straight games by an average of 15.2 points from Dec. 15-26.
Miami lost against the Detroit Pistons and the Milwaukee Bucks on consecutive nights by a combined 29 points before needing overtime to beat sub-.500 teams Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks this week.
After making it against the Magic with a 112-110 win Monday, the Heat came from six points down in the final 3:02 of regulation to force overtime against the Mavericks on Wednesday en route to a 119-109 victory. James averaged 34.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists in those two basketball games.
Miami narrowly improved to a conference-best 15-2 at home Wednesday.
While James averaged 31.8 points versus Chicago in the previous season, Wade has had a difficult time lately when they come to Miami. Since scoring 48 points against the Bulls on March 9, 2009, Wade has averaged 18.7 while shooting 37.8 percent from the field — 1 of 9 from 3-point range — in seven home games in the series including NBA playoffs.