Tonight (April 12th) will be the third match-up of this 2011-2012 regular season. The first meeting the Chicago Bulls were without Luol Deng and the Miami Heat won on the strength of Derrick Rose‘s two missed free throws in the 4th quarter. In the second meeting the Bulls won despite the absence of Derrick Rose but the Heat claimed they were not expecting such domination from the Bulls without Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton.
This is a big game for both teams because as much as people believe this Heat is better this year than last year, this year the Heat have been much worse on the road than at home so the top seed in the Eastern Conference should be valuable to them. This is a big game to the Bulls because they have that top seed and do not want to let it go. As of right now the Bulls are 44-14 and the Heat are 40-16, with a Bulls win the top seed would be as good as theirs because at the least the Bulls will be tied with the Heat in their match-ups with one more still remaining. With a loss they would have to deal with the stress of having the Heat on their heals for the remainder of the season.