The Miami Heat started their season off with a victory on Wednesday, October 29, 2013 when they defeated the visiting Chicago Bulls. 107-95. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and company were presented with their championship rings while serving the returning Derrick Rose with a tough welcome back to the NBA.
The Heat were in control for most of the game that featured a lot of frustration for the Bulls who seemed out of sync in key areas. Chicago jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter and kept pace with the defending champions for long enough to keep the first frame of NBA action close in South Beach. The quarter would end with the score of 17-15 in Miami's favor as they would take the lead and never look back. That is until the final moments of the game when Chicago would find a way to push the score to single digits with less than three minutes left. Miami would immediately slow the game down to push their lead back above ten where it would stay until the final whistle.
The Heat used a balance attacked that allowed seven different players to hit double figures. James led the entire unit with 17 points and 8 assists. Bosh brought in 16 points and 6 rebounds. Along with them, Wade, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, Norris Cole and Ray Allen were the other players to hit more than ten points. The total team effort allowed the defending champions to stay very efficient in this game as they scored on 51.4 percent of their shots while hitting 11 of 20 three point attempts.
Miami's defense pressured Chicago into taking many contested shots. Rose, who was playing his first regular season game since April of 2012, was especially affected as he shot only 4 of 15 for 12 points on the night. This included going 1-7 from three point range while turning the ball over five times. Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler were the two bright spots for the Bulls roster who helped pull the game within single digits in the waning moments. Boozer ended the night with 31 points and 7 rebounds, as Butler contributed 20 points and five steals.
Fans, experts and critics alike may try to make a lot from the first game of the year for the Heat and Bulls but the key is to remember there is a lot left to be told in this new season. The Heat drew first blood in what may be a preview of this year's Eastern Conference Finals when they defeated the Chicago Bulls to welcome in the 2013-2014 NBA season.