NBA / Oct 13, 2009 / 10:47 am

Who’s Better: The Heat or Bulls?

Derrick Rose

Last year was a productive season for both the Heat and Bulls franchises. Miami had gone from the basement of the Eastern Conference to climbing all the way up to the fifth seed behind the spectacular play of Dwyane Wade. The Bulls had also made a giant improvement from their 33 win season in 2007-08. They drafted the hometown hero Derrick Rose and made the playoffs where they pushed the world champion Boston Celtics to seven games.

The Heat finished the season with a 43-39 record while the Bulls were right behind at 41-41. After missing much of the 2007-08 season due to injury, Wade had an MVP worthy season in ’08-09 by averaging a league-leading 30.2 ppg along with 5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per contest. But as spectacular as Wade was, it’s obvious he needs more help from his teammates, particularly Jermaine O’Neal and Michael Beasley.

Beasley, their prized draft pick last year had a solid rookie campaign but struggled with finding a niche on the court. Beasley also had a well publicized summer, where he checked himself into a rehab facility for substance abuse. How he bounces back will be a major factor in Miami’s success this year. Another area of concern is the team’s point guard situation. Mario Chalmers did a good job last season on both ends of the court – he was fourth in the league in steals. But whether he is ready to be a starting point guard for a playoff team at this point in his career is debatable. The Heat also didn’t upgrade their roster too much aside from adding defensive specialist and three-point shooter Quentin Richardson to the mix.

On Chicago’s side, the team showed a lot of promise after their impressive first round series. It seems like everyone on that team from Tyrus Thomas to Joakim Noahto John Salmons stepped up and raised their games. It was also the coming out party for number one pick, Rose, who proved he is the future of the NBA with his effortless drives to the cup and his killer instinct down the stretch. One huge area of concern coming into this season, is trying to figure out whose going to replace Ben Gordon. For a lot of the games last season and in the playoffs, Gordon was the team’s go-to guy in crunch time. The Bulls are hoping Kirk Hinrich can help fill that void, along with newly acquired sharp-shooter Jannero Pargo, who was huge in the playoffs a few seasons back when he was on the Hornets. The Bulls also have a steal in draft pick James Johnson, who has been killing it in the preseason.

I envision both the Bulls and Heat ending the ’09-10 season as playoff teams, although I see them finishing near the bottom again around the 6-8 seeds. But with the improvement I’ve seen from guys like Noah, Thomas and Rose during the playoffs, I would have to say that Chicago will have a better record than Miami. Plus, with the uncertainty surrounding Beasley and the constant health issue of Wade and O’Neal, Miami has the potential to fall a few notches down the power rankings this season.

Who is going to have a better season: The Heat or Bulls?

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.

Follow Gerald Narciso on Twitter at @Gerald_Narciso.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • TJ

    The Heat. The Bulls will miss BG more than anyone thinks.

  • Jason

    Chances are that at the end of the season the Bulls will have a better record. They simply have more talented players. In fact they don’t have an indispensible player like Wade. Rose is very good but they have capable backups at every position.

  • duuuude

    dude’s so fat he could be oprah’s nephew

  • Dee

    did he say defensive specialist Quentin Richardson? Wow I done heard it all….He can play some D he is know where near specialist (although he should be considering his size and strenght)

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    YOU BASTARDS. You know damn well Chicago will not be better than Miami. Unless Wade goes down with an injury. Compare us to someone like the Pacers, or the Bobcats. Teams we were battling for playoff positions. Not the Heat, they are one level above the Bulls.

    Also losing BG is a plus, trust me.

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    improvement of Noah? He got beasted in the playoffs by 2 scrubs (Perkins and Davis) and was extra special when it came to dropping passes or missing easy dunks/lay-ups. Noah is terrible. Tyrus was nice but Vinny kept him on the bench for his (Vinny not Tyrus) mental lapses.

  • Yoooo

    Word, Defensive Specialist? Boy stoooooop

  • Arrogant

    The bulls are a bettr team… for u ppl crying bout ben gordon, you forget for all the great offense he does he gets lit up when he on defense. with a taller and better defense starting with Salmons the bulls havent lost much.

    Miami right now have chalmers wade and beasley. they have no bench. the bulls have a nice young group with derrick playing the wade role. he might be lesser of a player but overall the guard rotation is better by the bulls, deng is back and the rookies are ready to step in. so overall as a team i would go with the bulls…

  • doc

    give me the team with D Wade.

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla


    you say the bulls will miss BG, but as i’ve posted many time before on this site, Ben was a great scorer but he gave up more points than he ever scored. His lack of denfense hurt the bulls badly. Outside of Tyrus, the bulls don’t really have a shot blocker to make up for him beaing beat off the dribble constantly or being tortured in the post.

  • dagwaller

    The Heat are going to be worse. Wade played out of his mind, yet they still only finished a couple games ahead of the Bulls. In the offseason, the Wizards got better than the Heat, and they’re in the same division. Call that a couple games difference.

    Meanwhile the Bulls got better by losing one of their guards, and got a productive rookie. They also got Deng back from injury and an overall improved team. Rose has another year of experience. The Pistons got worse this year – call that another couple wins.

  • dagwaller

    Hahahaaha Dee and Yooooo I was thinkin the SAME THING…defensive specialist? Ha yea Q-Rich roams the offensive 3 point line making sure no one stays back tryin to hit those NBA Jam hot spot 8 pointers.

  • Guitar Hero

    Well, Chicago is much better 1 through 15, but they sure don’t have Mr.Flash.

    But somehow you forgot to mention Deng is back, Dime…he’ll make up for BG’s scoring.

  • Mellmeister

    Heat simply because of D.Wade…

    Chicagorilla’s right a lot of things to consider with Chicago… they’ll miss the scoring punch that Ben Gordon brings ‘em off the bench… so the only thing i’m waiting to see is, D.Rose… is he ready to take his game to the next level? ‘coz what we saw from the playoffs was a glimpse… but will he be able to do that in a nightly basis?

  • dan

    I think they will be pretty even , keep in mind people the heat had like a million new faces last year 2 rookies, james jones 1st year player for heat plus injury, jermain o’neal not even a year plus injured, and the other guys. The bulls even though they had a few new places still had reliable vets and just a few new pieces. I just think it’ll be a battle between both teams. No clear cut choice at the moment, but miami cant possibly be worst than last year can they?

  • Mellmeister

    Q-Rich wouldn’t be travellin’ a lot this season if he’s a “defensive specialist”. i think the only thing he’s defensive about is wheneva people busts him about his claim of being chi-towns finest… hahahahahahaha!

  • Chaos

    depends on the development of their players. Johnson was definitely a nice surprise for the bulls and deng is back, along with salmons can make up from the scoring BG brought. Beasley’s maturation, chalmers improvement and o’neals knees pretty much make or break the season for miami unless d-wade ups his production to 35-6-6 and richardson and daequn shoot lights out.

  • chitown hoops

    I think the bulls have a better overall talent level but probably wont have a better season. Everyone on Miami will be a free agent on that team next year (except Beasley) and will be working for contracts. Plus by having Wade they will get a few more wins from him alone.

  • Brown

    Miami just has too many question marks. There’s a slight chance they could be better than the Bulls if everything goes right, but if they encounter a couple of bumps in the road, not only could they have a worse record than the Bulls, they could miss the playoffs entirely, which doesn’t bode well for them going into the ’10 offseason.

  • control

    Like almost every thing about the Heat’s performance, this comes down to one question: How are the new refs going to treat Wade and/or are the old refs going to come back?

    The Heat go as far as the refs let Wade take them. One year, championship, the next, nothing. The guy is a good player, no doubt, but it’s undeniable that he has A LOT of help from the refs. I ain’t buying into Super Beas yet, the guy is a jacker (I’ve never actually seen him pass…) and seems to be a headcase who doesn’t really get into the game. If he were a headcase who DID get into the game (like Crazy Ron) then maybe I’d feel different but he just ain’t there mentally.

    I’m not really impressed with the Bulls, except for Rose. Rose is an amazing player, but who else is really amazing on the Bulls?

    The Bulls will have a hard time overcoming how purely ugly Joakim is to really be a really serious threat to anyone.

  • TJ


    BG had a better +/- than DRose and Salmons, so I don’t think they really fell off when he was on the court.

  • rd$

    BULLS because the Heat suck.

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    Yeah Q-Rich Defensive specialist not so much. But I definitely think Chicago will be better. IMO they were better than the Heat last year. Taking the Celts to 7 games is no easy task. Plus you add Luol Deng who was there best player before injuries and you got a pretty solid young team at every position.

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    @TJ, does that +/- stat include defense? I doubt it. It just speaks to how well the bulls scored with Ben on the court. And that’s what he brings. That’s IT! all that talk about him being held back in Chi will come back to haunt him when Detroit figures out his true game.

    As for all the love being given to J.Johnson and T.Gipson….WHY? They have proven nothing. The preseason has only shown that Johnson is lazy and only husltes when he is up to it. His 6’6′ 256 lb frame is out of shape for NBA standards. He looks like a Tight End. He has the ability to be what Ron Artest was for us back when we drafted him, but I doubt he has the fire in him (like Artest) to keep it going every night.

    Gipson is Joe Smith (without the #1 pick pressure) all over again, which isn’t a bad thing, but he is the aging Joe Smith and not the young Joe Smith. Solid guy, but that’s where it ends.

  • Kobeef

    The Bulls will be better when Wade leaves Miami in 2010 to go home to Chicago and team with Rose in the backcourt. Deadly.

  • Jake

    Miami for sure, don’t sleep on them! Wades thriller in triple OT last year – these teams always play a good game vs eaac other, but when it comes down to it – you just can’t touch Miami.

    Still wish we coulda got Rose though.

  • “Tha Boddy” Iverson Can’t Be Blamed

    The Wizards are gonna keep either one of these 2 teams out the playoffs or the Hawks just you watch

  • Detroit Dave

    Q-Rich hasn’t played Defense since he was at DePaul!

  • Cha-Ching

    Why does it matter? Its not like their contenders or anything. Dime just got u guys arguing for nothing.

  • http://www.niketalk.yuku.com/forums/8 NTstateOFmind

    @cha-ching, you got something better to talk about?

  • TJ

    “@TJ, does that +/- stat include defense? I doubt it. It just speaks to how well the bulls scored with Ben on the court. And that’s what he brings. That’s IT!”

    Yes, it does factor in D by looking at the points scored for AND against the team. Even if BG’s defense wasn’t as good, his superior offense more than made up for it.

  • Cha-Ching

    @ NTstateOFmind

    Yeh, thessssse nuuuuuuuts! Sorry, Snoop Dogg moment. I would go with LA vs. Boston. Does Artest swing on Rasheed first or…. Also, MVP and ROY. Who you got?

  • JH

    Bulls beat out the Heat this season (record wise). Wade is great and all but basketball remains a team game.

  • what are we doing

    Man dime, ya’ll are crazy. Betta yet, the dude who wrote this article is completely nuts! Q-rich a defensive specialist? since when? And the bulls are much better than the heat. Child please….

  • arisloco

    @ control

    You mentioned about Wade getting alot of help from the refs? I guess you’re thinking about Kobe on that. Look at the way or impact of the contact that Wade gets compared to Kobe.

  • futurestar

    D.Wade to the bulls in 2010.. just imagine the back court of wade and rose.. they will again be known as the un-stop-a-bulls.

  • rick773

    Bulls because they have a better overall roster….Heaven forbid if Wade got injured for any significant portion of the year it be back to the lottery

  • cbil01

    bulls no contest. Deng will spell Gordon’s 20ppg and Noah and Ty Thomas are quick big men who can run with rose. who on the heat besides Wade would start for any other team? beasley has a case of the delonte wests and can’t defend and J ONeal makes Andrew Bynum look healthy. Heat will finish 4th in the southeast 7th in the east if they’re lucky