The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat prepare to battle it out in the first game of their back-to-back set at the American Airlines Arena tonight. The Bulls will be hoping to save the season series between the two sides as they lost their previous encounter against the Heat by 90-101.
The two sides have registered three wins apiece in their last four outings. The Chicago Bulls will have momentum on their side, though, winning their last game against the Charlotte Hornets. The Miami Heat, meanwhile, will be looking to avoid consecutive defeats after losing to the Atlanta Hawks 103-118 in their last outing.
Fixture - Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Saturday, April 24, 8:00 PM ET (Sunday, April 25th, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue - American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL.
Chicago Bulls Preview
The Chicago Bulls have done fairly well in their last few games, considering they were without star man Zach LaVine. He has now missed four straight matches as he had to enter the league's health and safety protocols. Nikola Vucevic has produced stellar performances in his absence.
The Chicago Bulls have been weak defensively throughout the season but have somewhat managed to recover in that department in recent times. It has played a key role for them in each of their recent wins, and they will be hoping to maintain that in this game as well. The Bulls conceded just 101 points per contest on average during that stretch.
In their last game, the Bulls restricted the Hornets to just 91 points, allowing them 25.8% from beyond the arc and letting them claim just eight offensive rebounds.
Key Player - Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic has been at the forefront of all of the Chicago Bulls' recent wins and will once again be a key player for them. The Bulls have a dismal 6-10 record since signing him, and he will be eager to improve that and lead his side to a playoff berth at the end of the regular season.
His main challenge against the Miami Heat will be to limit Bam Adebayo's threat in the paint. Adebayo has been a key player alongside Jimmy Butler for the Miami Heat. Keeping him in check could bolster the Chicago Bulls' chances of winning this game.
Point Guard - Coby White l Shooting Guard - Garrett Temple l Small Forward - Patrick Williams l Power Forward - Thaddeus Young l Center - Nikola Vucevic.
Miami Heat Preview
The Miami Heat have been very inconsistent of late and will be hoping to do better as the regular season nears its end. Their main aim at this stage is to qualify as a top-six side, which would give them automatic entry into the playoffs.
The Miami Heat haven't been one of the best offensive sides this season, managing just a 108.8 offensive rating so far — the seventh-worst in the league.
In their last game, the Heat did well to keep up with the in-form Hawks for most of the match. But they caved in the fourth quarter, getting outscored by 14-23, as they failed to deliver on the offensive end yet again. Anyone not named Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo will have to deliver a big performance on the night to help them avoid a second straight loss.
Key Player - Bam Adebayo
Bam Adebayo has been in terrific form lately and will be expected to deliver a big performance to help his team win tonight. In the last five games, he has been averaging close to 20 points, 7.2 rebounds, and two steals per contest.
Nikola Vucevic has been in terrific form and will be Adebayo's counterpart for this game. Neutralizing Vooch could lead the Miami Heat to a resounding win as the Chicago Bulls are without LaVine for this game.
On top of that, the Chicago Bulls are a strong side offensively and often dominate in the early stages. It will require Adebayo to lead the defense to avoid conceding a huge lead early on.
Point Guard - Kendrick Nunn l Shooting Guard - Duncan Robinson l Small Forward - Jimmy Butler l Power Forward - Trevor Ariza l Center - Bam Adebayo.
Bulls vs Heat Prediction
The Miami Heat have a healthier squad compared to the Chicago Bulls, who are without Zach LaVine for this matchup. This should be a favorable factor for the Heat, who are solid defensively, making them the favorites to win this tie. Nevertheless, the Bulls have the momentum on their side, and that could make this an enticing affair to watch.
Where to watch Bulls vs Heat?
The game between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat will be televised locally on Bally Sports Sun and NBC Sports Chicago. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.