NBA Matchup: Memphis Grizzlies at Chicago Bulls

Memphis Grizzlies at Chicago Bulls Fri. March 25, 2011 8 p.m. EST

With the NBA playoffs just around the corner, the Chicago Bulls have cemented themselves as the best team in the Eastern Conference. The Boston Celtics were given a lot of attention as the best team in the league earlier in the season, but once they made the deal to send Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder they have really struggled as of late seem to of loss that edge that they’ve had all year long.

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With that being said, the Chicago Bulls have taken advantage of this opportunity to move up in Eastern Conference and snatch the number one seed away from Boston Celtics. There are still a few games left in the NBA regular season and anything can happen from here on out as the Chicago Bulls could lose their grip on the number one seed in the East, but with the way their playing right now I really don’t see that happening as All-Star point guard Derrick Rose is almost certainly going to win the NBA MVP award and continue to lead his team to victory.

On Friday night, the Chicago Bulls will be hosting the Memphis Grizzlies in what could be a very competitive game between one of the elite squads in the league and a team looking to make the playoffs in the final stretch of the NBA regular season.

Coming into this match up with the Grizzlies, the Bulls have won two straight and nine of their last 10 games as they are arguably the hottest team in the league just behind two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. With that being said, Chicago see

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ms to be firing on all cylinders right now at they are shooting the clinch the top spot in the Eastern Conference and hold off a very resilient Boston Celtics team.

Along with the fact that they are playing some very good basketball right now, the Chicago Bulls of also benefited from the Boston Celtics really start to struggle as Kevin Garnett and company have only won five of their last 10 games and a longer look like a dominant team they were just no more than month ago.

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So coming into this matchup both of these teams will have agendas as the Chicago Bulls will look to stay hot and get one step closer to clinching the number one seed in the Eastern Conference while the Memphis Grizzlies will be attempting to keep their playoff hopes alive and stay in the eighth spot in the Western Conference. One thing watch in this game will be the matchups in the backcourt as Derrick Rose and Mike Conley Jr. will be going head-to-head.

Even though the Memphis Grizzlies have been a team on the rise as of late, I believe the Chicago Bulls should get yet another win stretched their winning streak to three in a row. If the Chicago Bulls can stay hot from here on out, they will be extremely tough to be in the Eastern Conference playoffs a real thorn in the side for teams like Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics

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Miami Heat continue to struggle with fourth straight loss

The one team that made the biggest splash in the NBA free agent market over the summer was without a doubt the Miami Heat. With the addition of superstars LeBron James and Chris Bosh alongside the recently re-signed face of the franchise in Dwyane Wade, this squad looked more like an All-Star team than an NBA roster, but even though they were able to land the three most sought after free agents in the summer, they have had their fair share of struggles this season.

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As any athlete and head coach knows, creating team chemistry is not something that comes easy or something that can be attained after just a few games of playing together. Team chemistry takes time and patience, but with all this added attention in South Beach, the demand and pressure to become a winner right now may have started to take its toll on the Miami Heat.

Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat
Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat

Earlier in the season, a lot of people around the league started to question this team as the Miami Heat had gotten out to a very disappointing record of 9-8. With the three superstars really starting to struggle in South Beach, the consensus was that it was going to take some time before the Heat could actually contend with the best of the best in the Eastern Conference.

Fortunately, that didn’t turn out to be the case as the Miami Heat quickly got back on track and rose all the way up to the second seed in the East behind the Boston Celtics. Even though they had been able to jump back up the rankings in the East, they have had problems against some of the best of the best in the league all season long.

On Sunday afternoon, the Miami Heat played host to the Chicago Bulls in a game that was thought to be a rout in favor of LeBron James and company. With three straight losses to the New York Knicks (91-86), Orlando Magic (99-96) and the San Antonio Spurs (125-95), the Miami Heat continued to show how flawed their game plan is moving forward. The loss to the Spurs was the most devastating to the Heat as they were just dominated from start to finish by arguably the best team in the league.

Even though the Chicago Bulls have showed that they are a serious force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference this season as Derrick Rose has become the NBA MVP favorite, the Miami Heat were thought to make easy work for the resurgent Bulls team, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.

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The game was tight for the majority of the contest and the Heat did seem to have the game in hands at times, but the Bulls turned out to be just too much for them to handle down the stretch. Derrick Rose led the way for the Bulls once again with a game-high 27 points, LeBron James finished with a team-high 26 points, but it wasn’t enough to lead the Heat to victory and snap their losing streak as Chicago went on to win 87-86.

With this win the Chicago Bulls have taken over the second seed in the Eastern Conference as the Miami Heat fall to third in the conference and have some serious issues moving forward.

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