2013 NBA Playoffs Schedule and Previews (5/10)

2013 NBA Playoffs
2013 NBA Playoffs
May 8 2013 Miami FL USA Miami Heat small forward LeBron James 6 and Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade 3 during the second half in game two of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Chicago Bulls at American Airlines Arena The Heat won 115 78 Robert Mayer USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s NBA Playoff action features two games. With each series tied up at a game apiece, both are pivotal Game 3s. Here’s a preview and game information for each contest.

Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls
Game 3 – Series tied 1-1

Location: United Center (Chicago, IL)
Time: 8:00 p.m.

The Eastern Conference semifinals move to Chicago for tonight’s Game 3. The big storyline in the series is, of course, the Bulls stealing Game 1 in Miami to seize hold of home court advantage. The Heat bounced back and easily won Game 2 by 37 points, but the fact remains that the series is tied.

Chicago has been without several key players. All of the talk in the playoffs has been about a possible return of star Derrick Rose, who has missed the entire season with a torn ACL. But the Bulls have been hit by some other injuries lately as well. Most notably, Luol Deng has missed the past few games after a bout with the flu. Deng, who averages 16.5 points per contest this season, may not yet be ready to go and hasn’t played yet in the series. Also missing is Kirk Hinrich, who has been out the past five games with a calf injury. Because of that, the Bulls again will look to Nate Robinson to provide some offense.

Read More: 2013 NBA Playoffs Injury & Illness Update

For Miami, they have to get a bit more from Dwyane Wade. The guard is averaging just under 15 points per contest while still recovering from a knee injury, and that’s well below his season average. Wade has shot well so far, but the team will need a little more production from him. They didn’t need him in Game 2, but could have used more than the 14 points he provided in the seven-point Game 1 loss.

In addition to reclaiming home court advantage, the Heat will also look to gain a measure of revenge at the United Center. This is their first trip back there since losing in March. That defeat was a costly one as it broke their nearly historic 27-game winning streak.

A big key for the Bulls will be regaining their composure. Chicago had six technical fouls and two players, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, were ejected in Game 2. If the Bulls fall behind early, keeping their emotions in check will be something the coaches have to reinforce.

ESPN will have the game at 8:00 p.m. EST.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors
Game 3 – Series tied 1-1

Location: ORACLE Arena (Oakland, CA)
Time: 10:30 p.m.

Like the Bulls, the Golden State Warriors had a big win over the favorite in their series on the road. But the Warriors head home for Game 3 thinking they should have a 2-0 lead. The San Antonio-Golden State series is also tied 1-1, but after the Warriors blew a late lead in the opener, they are left wondering what could have been.

With the series moving to Oakland, the upstart Warriors enter Game 3 as a potential favorite. For San Antonio, it becomes all about trying to find a way to slow down Golden State’s explosive backcourt. In Game 1, Stephen Curry lit up the Spurs to the tune of 44 points. The Spurs held him to ‘only’ 22 in the next contest, but Klay Thompson picked up where he left off with 34 points in that game. The duo has averaged a whopping 60 points over the two games and has given San Antonio fits.

The Spurs enter the game as the far more experienced postseason team, but they will be in for a hostile environment. The Bay Area hasn’t had these types of expectations in years and you can bet the crowd at ORACLE Arena will be a hostile one. Golden State is also expected to distribute yellow shirts to each fan again and the Spurs won’t find winning on the road to be an easy task.

ESPN will also have this game at 10:30 p.m. EST.

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Anson Whaley
Anson Whaley is a freelance writer with more than 16 years of experience. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a current member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Mr. Whaley has also been a credentialed member of the media for various events. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');