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Competition Heating Up as Bulls Host Miami

By Angie Wiatrowski in News on Jan 15, 2011 8:30PM

If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. The Miami Heat have beaten the Bulls twice in a row, and have taken seven of the last nine meetings. Does this mean the Bulls will be kicked out of their own ‘kitchen’?

The Bulls have been on a hot streak, leading the Central Division by 9 games and have won 17 of 22, including seven straight at home. They kind of have an advantage, considering the Heat have now lost their last two games and gave up a season-high 130 points to the Nuggets Thursday. Don’t let that fool you, the Wade-Bosh-LeBron-a-thon is still a decent threat.

Wade is averaging 26.6 points per game on 52.8 percent shooting in wins this season. James may be out of the picture after missing Thursday’s game with a sprained ankle. Guess it's only fitting, he didn't want to play in Chicago in the offseason, why start now? James is averaging 29.2 points against the Bulls over his career, his second-highest average against Eastern Conference opponents he’s faced more than twice.

The Bulls do have Derrick Rose, but Rose hasn’t been so hot against the Heat. He had 29 points and 10 rebounds, scoring 20 points in the second half of Friday's game against the Pacers, and is averaging 27.6 points in the last five games. However this is not the case against Miami. In seven meetings Rose is averaging 14.9 points, shooting 37.3 percent and in the last four, he’s been held to 12 or fewer points three times against the Heat.

The Heat fell 130-102 to the Nuggets Thursday with Chris bosh scoring 24 points and Wade grabbing 16. The Heat haven’t lost three in a row since Nov. 20-24 and will look to end their five-game road trip on a high note. At the same time, they are averaging 93.6 points allowed. This could be an advantage to the Bulls who are holding opponents to an average of 82.4 points during their current streak at the United Center. They look to extend their home win streak to eight for the first time since Jan. 7-27, 2005. This is a big game, no doubt and it’s a close call as to what the outcome will be. The Bulls have greatly improved this season but a weak history against the Heat could be costly.