For the past four years, games between the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat have always meant something and have, without question, been a marquee matchup in the NBA. But as Chicago and Miami prepare to square off for the first time this season, neither is taking the other lightly, despite the different directions the two teams are going in the standings.
The Heat enter the game with a 14-4 record and just had their 10-game winning streak broken on Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons, the team the Bulls beat by 20 on Nov. 27. As for Chicago, who come into the game with a 7-9 record, the victory over the Detroit is the only one they’ve had since Derrick Rose went down with his second knee injury on Nov. 22.
With the way the Bulls have looked over their last seven games, many worry the Heat were going to come into the United Center and run them out of the gym. But Miami knows that even struggling teams give their best shot when matched up against the two-time defending champs.
"Records don't matter when we play teams," LeBron James told the Miami Sun-Sentinel. “Obviously, teams play a totally different pace, a totally different style when they play us. There's no complacency with us. That's the name of the game. You can't look at our records and say, `They should win.' You've got to go out and play. If you don't, you can get beat.”
“It's everybody's Super Bowl,” said Chris Bosh. “It's something we deal with. We never complain about it."
“They’re playing at a very high level; they’re very good,” Joakim Noah told CSN Chicago. “I know [Michael] Beasley’s been playing a lot more, they’re spreading the court even more. They’re a very talented team.”