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Chuck Checks In - 04.14.23

GAME NIGHT FROM MIAMI: Play In Tournament: Bulls (1-0, 1-0 on the road) at Heat ( 0-1, 0-1 at home) 6PM.

RADIO: 670 The Score: 5:45 CT pre.

Play In Tournament Leaders
: Bulls: LaVine: 39 points. Heat: Lowry: 33 points.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Vucevic: 13. Miami: Adebayo: 9.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: White: 5. Heat: Butler: 9

Season Series: Bulls 3-0.

CCI PREVIEW: After taking care of business in Toronto the Bulls are in Miami looking to capture the eighth seed and a trip to Milwaukee Sunday.

The Bulls played outstanding defense in the second half against the Raptors and ran well executed fourth quarter plays as they outscored Toronto 37-24 in the final quarter.

Zach LaVine scored 30 of his 39 points in the second half and willed the Bulls to victory. It was one of the finest performances I've ever seen from a player in a Bulls uniform in recent memory. His sharp cuts to the basket and his fade away jumpers were unstoppable.

In Toronto, the Bulls blocked ten shots and collected nine steals. The Bulls will need more of that tonight against Jimmy Butler who is on a mission to propel the Heat into the playoffs. Butler is a true leader in every sense of the word, he but can only do so much. The Heat are fortunate to have Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro -two significant stars. Is it enough? Kyle Lowry is a terrific player when healthy. He had a vintage Lowry night against Atlanta scoring 33 points and dishing out nine assists in a home court loss.

Defense is Miami's strength, offense is another story. The Heat ranked last of the 30 NBA teams in scoring average with 109 points. The Heat shot just 46% from the field, 26th in the Association. They shot 34% from three point country-fourth worst. They were 27th in rebounding and last in block shots. But the Heat allowed just 109 points and collected eight steals per game . For the Heat to win Herro will have to have a special night, Adebayo will need to stay out of foul trouble and an "X" factor like Max Strus will have to have a big night. Miami is extremely well coached.

My take is, the Bulls have more offensive skilled players than the Heat and that will be the difference .

Thanks for reading CCI: Reach out: Twitter: @ctsbulls Instagram: swirsk_bulls Facebook: Chuck Swirsky. E-mail: cswirsky@bulls.com. All In. All Bulls. 365. 24-7. Always A Pleasure.