Saturday, 14 May 2011

Heat ready for Bulls in Eastern Conference finals - AFP

Posted by chardyboy on Saturday, May 14, 2011 0 comments

source: AFP

CHICAGO — LeBron James didn't hide his emotion after Miami eliminated Boston in the second round of the NBA playoffs, but he and his Heat teammates vow there will be no let-down in the Eastern Conference finals against Chicago.

"It's time to get back to work," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team travels to Chicago for game one of the best-of-seven conference finals on Sunday.

The winner of the series will battle a team from the West for the NBA crown.

"We've already moved on," James said after Friday's training in Florida.

"The Boston series is over and done with. Today, we mentally prepared ourselves to get ready for that series starting on Sunday. We left that series behind us."

James and Chris Bosh created a stir when they opted to join fellow free agent Dwyane Wade in Miami to create a superstar trio designed to capture the NBA title.

Beating Boston was a crucial step. The Celtics had played in the NBA finals in two of the past three years, lifting the title in 2008.

In the Bulls they'll face an emerging power, led by 22-year-old Derrick Rose.

Rose ended James' two-year reign as NBA Most Valuable Player as he led Chicago to the league's best record in the regular season.

"Honestly, a lot of people didn't think we would get past Boston," James said. "So we're moving on and looking forward to the challenge."

The Bulls won all three regular-season meetings between the clubs, the last in Miami in March.
However, it was a close-run thing. The three games were decided by a combined eight points.
For Wade, the trip to Chicago will be a homecoming. But for the duration of the series the Chicago native will consider his hometown, where he maintains a house, hostile territory.

"I won't even have a lot of family there," Wade said. "Just like on the road, you have a select few. I won't keep it busy. I'll keep it strictly about business, strictly about what we need to do, and I'll have a lot of time in the summer to be in my house.

"So I'm going home, yes, but we're going on the road to start."

Since the Heat won the NBA title in 2006, Wade has played 11 games in Chicago -- and lost nine of them.

But the Bulls, who reached the penultimate round of the playoffs for the first time in 13 years by beating Atlanta in the second round, expect Wade, James, Bosh and their teammates to be at their best.

"They've got two great players in D-Wade and LeBron," Bulls forward Carlos Boozer said. "It should be a great series. We look forward to it.

"And it is going to be a tough series. We look forward to the challenge."
Added Rose: "We know that we have something special in front of us."


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