NBA Playoffs: Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat Game 5

Game 5: Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat Weds. May 15, 2013 7 p.m. ET

The defending NBA champion Miami Heat may have lost the first game of their second round playoff series with the Chicago Bulls, but since then, LeBron James and company have crushed the team from the Windy City leaving little hope for a series upset.

Following the Game 2 pounding in South Beach, the Heat have dictated the way the series has been played. The Bulls have found no way to contain four-time MVP LeBron nor a way to counter the elite defense of Miami, but may still have some life left in them in potentially the final game of the series on Wednesday night back in South Beach.

Although no one believes anyone left in the playoffs can beat the Heat in a seven-game series with Miami clearly the favorite to win it all in Las Vegas odds, Miami may still struggle to putdown the scrappy Chicago squad in Game 5 at home.

One major factor coming into Game 5 in Miami will be the playing status of superstar guard Dwyane Wade. Although Wade has been battling through injuries throughout the entire postseason thus far, the veteran guard took a blow to his knee in Game 4 that may jeopardize his playing status for the rest of this series and perhaps the rest of the playoffs.

There’s been talk of the Heat shutting Wade down for the rest of this series to prepare for the Eastern Conference Finals against either the Indiana Pacers or New York Knicks. Even though a decision has yet to be made on Wade’s status, the consensus seems to be the Heat will win this game at home regardless.

At this point in time, Miami is heavily favored to closeout the series in Game 5 with a -14.5 point spread. A huge spread, but something the Heat can cover.

Prediction: Miami Heat -14.5

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