"We can learn from Brooklyn's mistake,” said Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh regarding the game day message going into the second-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls.
The Brooklyn Nets aren't the only team that the Bulls have stunned with a shorthanded roster this year. Earlier this season, they snapped the Heat's historic 27-game-winning streak without many of their key players.
"It really comes down to just playing the game. You can't really wonder about who's the underdog and who's the favorite. You sleep on those guys and think you need to just show up to win the game, you're wrong. Chicago has a work ethic; they're gonna make it tough. If you underestimate them, you will get beat,” Bosh said in the Monday morning Heat shootaround.
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Eight-time All-Star Dwyane Wade revealed the same respect with a dash of bad blood hours only before Game 1 at the American Airlines Arena.
"This team proved no matter who's in the lineup, they're gonna be competitive. They're gonna do the little things that give them an opportunity," Wade said.
The Bulls and Heat have split four games this season. In fact, the Bulls have a .500 record against Miami, combined in the regular season and playoffs, since the "Big Three" [James, Wade and Bosh] joined forces. Miami owns the most recent playoff bragging rights.
"I'm sure they were very disappointed. They've had a little hatred toward us and we dislike them as well from that standpoint as a team,” Wade admitted.
Bosh launched the first little jab of the series, when asked if anybody played the Heat tougher than the Bulls.
"Yeah, our white team when play in practice. Yeah, we push each other pretty hard," joked Bosh.
The Bulls would like to take those smiles and laughs away, just like they did in Brooklyn.