LeBron James was too excited to sleep before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Whether or not it contributed to his disappointing night, it was a bad omen to say the least.
The Miami Heat fell to the Chicago Bulls 103-82 Sunday night, with James only mustering 15 points on 33 percent shooting and six rebounds. Dwyane Wade was in a similar funk, only scoring 18 points.
In fact, Chris Bosh was the only member of the Big Three to find much success against Chicago's persistent defense. He had his best game of the playoffs so far, scoring 30 points while adding 9 rebounds.
Miami's starters watched the final two minutes of the blowout from the bench, not the start they could ever have envisioned. The Heat, who were 0-3 against the Bulls in the regular season, finished with 16 turnovers, four apiece by James and Wade.
Miami was in control early, jumping to an early 19-11 lead. Chicago kept pace with the Heat, though, behind 10 offensive rebounds and countless second-chance points. The two were tied at 48 at halftime.
But then the second half happened. Chicago went on a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter, then pulled away in the fourth. As the final minutes ticked away, the Heat were struck with the "Over-rated" chant from the Chicago crowd.
The Bulls locked down on the glass in the second half, outrebounding the Heat 23-13. MVP Derrick Rose scored 16 of his 28 points in the second half. He hit three 3-pointers and the Bulls converted 10 of 21 in all.
Miami will get another chance at the Bulls on Wednesday. Until then, maybe LeBron could get some sleep. We hear Phil Jackson's books will put you out in no time.
David Hill is a Miami native and the former owner of a youth replica Rony Seikaly jersey.