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Chicago Bulls Vs. Miami Heat: LeBron James' First Visit With The Heat

The Bulls had better play better defense in tonight's nationally televised game against the Heat, than they did last night in Toronto against the Raptors, especially since LeBron James, who didn't play in the Jan. 15 game vs. the Bulls at the United Center, will be ready to go tonight.

As Carlos Boozer said, they can't simply trade baskets with a team like the Raptors -- or anyone -- and expect to win. Virtually the entire team, as well as coach Tom Thibodeau, blasted their own defensive effort.

After a rough start to the season, the Team That LeBron Created has been playing quite well; at 42-15 they are now in a virtual tie with the Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference. Nevertheless, even with last night's loss the Bulls trail by only three games and can make up one of those tonight.

Joakim Noah had 16 rebounds in his return from hand surgery but even he admitted that he wasn't quite "in sync" with the rest of the team, which is to be expected after a two-month layoff from playing. Fortunately, now that the Bulls have their three best players -- Boozer, Noah and Derrick Rose -- all playing together again, they should be able to get things rolling. Tonight would be a good time to start.

Tonight's game is a national TV date on TNT only -- no local TV -- at 7 p.m. CST. Hopefully, the network will spare us Dick Stockton's voice tonight; he really needs to retire.