MIAMI — Despite nine technical fouls being issued, 51 personal fouls, two ejected Bulls and a foul-mouthed, finger-flipping female fan who went viral, most Heat players said the physical nature of their Game 2 rout was blown out of proportion.
And that even the well-behaved fans haven’t seen anything yet as the series shifts to the United Center, also known as the Madhouse on Madison (Avenue) or the “lion’s den’,’ as Heat coach Erik Spoelstra put it.
“It really wasn’t that physical, and I’m sure as the series goes on it’ll turn up a lot more,” Heat center Chris Bosh said after practice Thursday afternoon at AmericanAirlines Arena. “We have to have that physical mind-set to just bring it to those guys.
“When the whistle blows that means play stops. If a guy scores, I’m moving on to the next play, but everything in between is a fight. I enjoy it and . .. people like watching it.”
Heat forward LeBron James is somewhat new to the Bulls-Heat rivalry that dates back to the Michael Jordan years, when orange-haired instigator Dennis Rodman would literally wrestle Alonzo Mourning in the post in an effort to get the Heat center ejected.
However, the four-time MVP was enraged after the March 27 loss to Chicago that not only snapped Miami’s 27-game winning streak but also snapped James’ patience after getting tackled by Kirk Hinrich on one play, and later knocked down by forward Taj Gibson (who was ejected Wednesday after a profanity-laced tirade directed at referee Scott Foster).
James then elbowed power forward Carlos Boozer and drew a flagrant foul, but he, too, felt Wednesday’s game was tame in comparison to the rugged days of the “Bad Boys” Pistons.
“We got a rivalry and the same way they don’t like us, we don’t like them and that’s how it is,” said James, who got into it just a little with Bulls center Joakim Noah, who drew the first of two technical fouls before being tossed with 10:13 to play.