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Bulls’ loss to Heat shows Derrick Rose will need some help

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Bulls guard Derrick Rose and Heat forward LeBron James show the emotions of who won and who lost as the Miami Heat came back to beat the Chicago Bulls 83-80 in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals Thursday May 26, 2011 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 3, 2011 1:43PM



This is the way it should’ve ended for the Bulls, with miles and miles still to go.

They’re not a championship- caliber team yet. You can’t amble through the playoffs without having paid any dues, unless you’re the Heat, which piled on talent.

The Bulls don’t have that kind of talent, and for all the heart and teamwork and effort they showed this season, it’s still about talent. Derrick Rose is a wonderful player, but he has very little to lean on offensively.

LeBron James has Dwyane Wade. Wade has James.

Rose has . . . somebody help me here. Carlos Boozer? We’ll get to him in a moment.

You couldn’t help but be reminded of the talent disparity in the final minutes Thursday night, in the way you can’t help but be reminded of the mallet that just hit you in the head. James and Wade looked at each other, nodded, went to work and surgically separated the Bulls from their hearts.

The Heat won 83-80, moving Miami into the NBA Finals against Dallas. The Heat won the series 4-1, which is as it should be, too. The Heat is that much better.

Rose missed a free throw with 26.7 seconds left that would’ve tied the game at 81. After two Chris Bosh free throws, Rose had a chance to tie the game on a three-pointer but found himself staring into the chests of James and Udonis Haslem. The ball and the Bulls were going nowhere.

Wade has James, and James has Wade.

Whom does Rose have? Rose has Luol Deng, OK? I like Deng, but the next time he creates his own shot, the game will be stopped to commemorate the rarity.

The Heat went on a 16-2 run in a 21/2-minute span to take an 81-79 lead with 29.5 seconds left. Wade and James each had eight points in that run.

I guess James was right about The Decision.

“He’s got something different inside him,’’ coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Which brings us to Boozer and whatever’s inside him. If someone can explain coach Tom Thibodeau’s infatuation with him, speak up. And if it’s because of Boozer’s Megaball contract, shame on Thibs.

In the first half, Boozer had as much of a presence as hair does on his head, with three points, three rebounds and three fouls. So there were issues heading into the second half, with everything on the line.

In the third quarter, Boozer threw up a weak jump hook that had no chance. The next time down, Bosh blocked his shot.

At that point, the only thing that saved the Bulls was that Wade basically canceled out Boozer with eight turnovers, including traveling calls within a minute of each other in the second quarter.

Despite all that, the Bulls had a 57-44 third-quarter lead, with Rose and Deng doing most of the damage.

Two things might have made the Bulls think it wasn’t their night. James got away with a very bad acting job, leading to a Rose foul. And Mario Chalmers banked in a three-pointer.

Late in the third, James drove to the basket, where his head was met by Boozer’s left forearm. It was a cheap shot, which was why Boozer was called for a flagrant foul. It was also incredibly stupid. Why wake up James?

By the end of the third, Boozer, Deng and Joakim Noah each had four fouls.

James has Wade, and Wade has James. Rose has Ronnie Brewer and Kurt Thomas, the would-be heroes of the fourth quarter.

Thomas, playing for Omer Asik, hit two jumpers early in the fourth quarter, and the Bulls led by 11.

That’s it for your highlights, Bulls fans.

The Bulls need a shooting guard in the worst way.

Rose needs to work on his outside shot and his defense.

Boozer looks like more of a liability than an asset.

Taj Gibson needs to spend the entire summer shooting jump shots.

The Bulls’ 62 regular-season victories weren’t fiction, but they weren’t the whole story. The playoffs are different, better. The Bulls stayed the same.

The signs were there throughout the entire playoffs, but nobody seemed to want to look at them.

Everyone associated with the Bulls told us during the Indiana and Atlanta series that the postseason was about victories, not style points. But despite the difficulties in those series, those opponents were inferior. Miami was a different story.



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