It was about 10 years ago that Lennox Lewis (Kitchener-Waterloo kid) fought Mike Tyson. It reminded me of what I saw last night in the Heat/Bulls game. With Miami being Mike Tyson – power, devastating talent, could embarrass you quickly and Chicago being Lennox Lewis – good length, size, nobody gives them the respect they probably deserve because they’re not as flashy. So I remember about 10 years ago when they fought – and if you recall the press conference before the fight took place, there was a brawl between Tyson’s guys and Lewis’s guys.
But what you noticed in the fight – in boxing they say styles make fights. You gotta see the guys in the ring, you can’t – the measurable, the tail of the tape only tell so much…you gotta see how they match up in the ring. And within 2 or 3 minutes of the first round (I watched the entire fight today) you know, your 2 ½ minutes into the 1st round, Tyson landed one nice punch but you saw something developing and you knew in the 1st round “oh this is going to be problematic for Tyson” The way Lennox Lewis was longer and pushing him and holding him and using his savvy and his patience and discipline – at that point in Mike’s career, he didn’t have any of that stuff, especially discipline.
You could tell by round 2 “this is just not going to work out well for Mike Tyson” I didn’t need to see the whole fight – I only needed to watch about 4 minutes of it and you knew what was going to happen in the fight. Mike needed a haymaker to win…his only shot, and he didn’t. Eventually he lost T.K.O.
So I’m watching the game last night and again – you could have all the measurable in the world, take out regular season match ups…it’s just different! The playoffs are different. But, about the middle of the 2nd Qtr – and it was a very close game, in fact Miami was winning at that point by a bucket or two. But I noticed about middle of the 2nd Qtr and told myself that “Chicago’s length, is going to give Miami real trouble in this series” Forget Derrick Rose, that’s not the issue. “Chicago’s great defense…” remember, Chicago plays much better at home than on the road – they’re a young team that feeds off their crowd’s energy, Miami is the same team – home or away. Chicago is not, they were 36-5 at home in the regular season – they were unbelievable. They were good on the road – they weren’t spectacular.
But when you watch the length of Chicago in this series – they’re not getting shorter. Now they’re not going to shoot that well on Wednesday night and Miami is going to shoot better Wednesday night, so a lot of thing will add/subtract and change that night. But I’m sitting and watching this game by the 2nd Qtr – and unless Chicago gets significantly shorter, they are going to give Miami all sorts of issues in this series. They are going to get 3 or 4 possessions per game on tips and loose balls – that’s 21 over the course of a series.
I mean, Luol Deng is not going to play that well, but the fact that Lebron only took 15 shots tells you a lot. It’s not that he scored 15 points, it’s that he didn’t take any more than Luol Deng and you sit there – and I felt the exact same way when watching Tyson and Lennox, I didn’t need to see 8 rounds to see who was going to win and I’m not saying Miami is going to lose this series, but you can watch very quickly these two teams match up in the ring. I don’t need to watch 7 games – Chicago’s length is going to give Miami problems.
How do they overcome it? They’ve re-invented themselves 2 or 3 times this season – I mean, this is a team that offensively was a mess, then got better and now they’ve been great for the last month and a half against everybody in the league. But Erik Spoelstra admitted it – I think Chicago woke up this morning and I think Chicago thought “we’re better than they are” and I think Miami players woke up this morning and thought “we could be in some trouble here” Read what Erik Spoelstra, acknowledging that mentally, the Heat were defeated “Losing a lot of those effort areas in the second chance points, it really deflated us and then we lost our concentration on the offensive end and the game got away from us. The offensive rebounding really affected us, you know, we had some great stops but were not able to come up with a 50/50 ball or a rebound to seal it and they made us pay”
I think Chicago is going to get more cheap points, more tip possessions, more offensive rebounds – and that’s not a shot, because statistically they are a very good offensive rebounding team. But it looks like to me “uh oh, Miami is going to have to re-adjust”